Designed by: Reshma Shetty   Group: Antiquity   (2004-06-29)

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Applications of pSB3K3

Team Warwick 2015

Our team considered using this part as part of a system of binding different coloured cells together in order to demonstrate specific cell placement. We characterised this part is order to determine the optimal amount of IPTG required for inducing the gene, and the copy number necessary to express the fluorescence brightly. The results for this can be seen below.

We cloned J04450 into three plasmid with varying copy numbers, in order from highest to lowest copy number they are: pSB1K3, pSB3K3, and pSB4K5. These plasmids were then transformed into electrocompetent MG1655 Z1 cells and grown overnight. THe next morning the cells were refreshed, and different concentrations of IPTG (0uM, 250uM, and 500uM) were added to induce them. For each of the three plasmids in each IPTG concentrations, three biological replicates were made, and when OD600 and RFP absorbance were measured, three technical replicates were made, for a total of 81 copies of the gene grown. The RFP absorbance and OD600 of these cells were measured over 20 hours. The OD600 over time was used to determine at what OD the cells were in steady state. This was then compared to the RFP measured at that time and graphed to show RFP expression per cell.


The graph shows that RFP expression was highest in the pSB1K3 and pSB4K5 plasmids, and that there was little difference in expression between the 250uM and 500uM concentration of IPTG. 0uM IPTG universally showed almost no expression. pSB1K3 should have the highest copy number and pSB4K5 should have the lowest copy number, so it's curious that they both expressed RFP very well. This could be due to a mutation in the pSB4K5 causing it to have a much higher copy number than usual. It is documented here ( that a single point mutation can increase the copy number of a plasmid. The pSB4K5 plasmid we tested has been sent for sequencing in order to determine whether this is the case.

The raw data for this characterisation can be found here:

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