SynBERC:PV

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PRAIRIE VIEW A&M UNIVERSITY SYNBERC PROJECT: DR. RAUL CUERO & DR. MICHAEL GYAMERAH

PROJECT TITLE: Study of bioenergetics of autotrophic bacteria in relation to their growth and metabolic networks, using electrochemical and optical microbial biosensors.

OBJECTIVES:

Research Objective:

1. General Objective: Assembling parts for developing microbial biosensors for detection of toxic metals including radionuclides and for organic compounds.

1.1 Specific Objectives: 1. Combine parts such as luxand lacZ gene reporters with inducible promoters to develop a microorganism (chasis) with the functions of detecting the toxic metals, radionuclides and or organic compounds.

2. Study the constructs (transformed microorganisms) under different environmental conditions including redox potential, pH, temperature, oxygen levels and metal ion concentrations.

3. Develop and standardize microbial biosensors that respond specifically to toxic metals (lead, copper, and chromium) and radionuclides (uranium).

4. Develop analogue carbon-nitrogen-oxygen based molecules such as peptides/proteins that mimic environmental contaminants for use in testing the microbial biosensors for efficiency.

2. Educational Objective:

Provide research experiences in synthetic biology to students and faculty from PVAMU and other Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

This will be accomplished by training, seminars, conferences, workshops, summer internship programs and to establish courses in synthetic biology at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

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