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Escherichia coli is a gram-negative bacterium and a model organism in biological engineering research. Laboratory strains of E. coli, such as E. coli K12, offer attractive chassis for synthetic biology research for several reasons.

  • It is one of the most intensively studied model organisms in molecular and cell biology.
  • It has a rapid doubling time of less than an hour, meaning that saturated cultures can be grown overnight.
  • It has lost its ability to thrive in the intestine, so it is a safe, biosafety level 1 organism.
  • There are a wide variety of tools and protocols supporting BioBrick part assembly and propagation as well as protein expression and measurement available.

Most BioBrick parts and devices available in the Registry, unless indicated otherwise, are designed to operate in E. coli.

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