One synthetic biology aim is to develop programmable traits in living organisms. Programmable electronic systems use quantitatively characterized components that can be used and adapted in different systems thereby allowing rapid development of diverse applications. A toggle switch is among the most basic and common electronic components, a device which allows switching between two modes or states, and one of the first synthetic biology devices produced in E. coli. We developed a computer model to predict and produce a plant genetic toggle switch from quantitatively characterized genetic components. Our results show that programmable functions can be produced in plants thereby providing a means to predictably engineer nature’s untapped diversity into sustainable systems that can serve humanity and the environment. We have taken a first step towards this broad goal by developing a novel means whereby we engineered anatomical features allowing plants to tolerate salt water.
Dr. June Medford is a Professor in the Biology Department at Colorado State University. June grew up in Maryland and still loves the ocean. She earned a B.S. in Botany from the University of Maryland and Ph.D. in Biology from Yale University. She joined Colorado State University in 1996.
For details of her research and recent publication, please visit: HERE
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