Mini-bootcamp 2011

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This page contains a description of the mini-bootcamp run in Feb 2011.


  • Jorge Goncalves
  • Jun Lie
  • Yuan Ye
  • Enoch Yeung
Part-time students
  • Elisa Franco
  • Richard Murray
  • Emzo de los Santos
  • Joe Meyerowitz
  • Ophelia Venturelli
  • Vanessa Jonsson
Project advisor
  • Richard Murray

Project description

The goal of this project is to measure variability in gene expression that is relevant for synthetically designed circuits. The issue that we are trying to understand is now much variability arises for the expression of a given circuit under degrees of freedom that are typically not controlled in synthetic designs:

  • Location and orientation of circuit elements in the plasmid
  • Vectors used for expressing the circuit, including copy number and antibiotic resistance
  • Growth conditions (temperature, oxygen, media, growth phase)

To understand how these (and other) factors will affect circuit operation, a simple genetic circuit consisting of 1 or 2 promoters will be built and implemented in a variety of conditions. The dynamic response of the circuit will be measured, including cell-to-cell variability (via flow cytometry or microscopy).

Project objectives:

  • Characterize the differences (if any) in mean expression level for a standard circuit (PtetR:GFP) in different backbones, growth media, antibiotic concentrations, inducer levels, etc
  • Characterize differences in expression distributions (if any) using flow cytometry; use cell sorting to check for differences in cell phenotype
  • Construct a simple circuit using different design choices and characterize differences in expression level (and distribution)

Lambda switch.png

  • Circuit layout: directions, ordering

Biobrick plasmid.png

  • (Cell strain)
  • Growth media: LB, M9/glycerol, M9/glucose
  • Induction level
  • Temperature


Session 0: project discussion and lab tour

Session 1: cloning

Session 2: gels

Session 3: plate reader

Session 4: microscope

Session 5: spectrofluorometer

Session 6: flow cytometer