Engineering a bacteriophytochrome switch – creating a controllable E. coli chameleon

Y. A. Aksoy, J. Hare, O. Ibrahim, K. Mackenzie, S. Santhirasegaram, H. Varinli

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


Photoreceptors are utilized by almost every organism to adapt to their ambient light environment. Our aim is to engineer a novel reversible molecular 'light switch' within E. coli by introducing a photoreceptor from non-photosynthetic bacteria (D. radiodurans and A. tumefaciens). By cloning the bacteriophytochrome coupled with heme-oxygenase, an enzyme that produces biliverdin from heme, the created colonies are able to respond to red and far-red light environments. This novel approach results in the colour of the E. coli 'switching' from blue to green. Our E. coli chameleon will serve as a fundamental 'bio-brick' for future applications by providing a simple and photo-reversible switch.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventInternational Genetically Engineered Machine Competition - Cambridge, MA
Duration: 6 Nov 20108 Nov 2010


ConferenceInternational Genetically Engineered Machine Competition
CityCambridge, MA


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