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Integrons as a novel cloning system in E. coli

Integrons are systems that can capture and utilise mobile genetic elements known as gene cassetes, and which are found in a vast array of bacteria, often associated with antibiotic resistance. Gene cassettes with an attC recognition site are site selectively recombined into an attI recognition site by the integron integrase. We are seeking to design biobrick compatible integron components that can be used as a novel, convenient and selective cloning system in lab strains of E. coli, which normally do not contain integron systems. Additionally, we are investigating regulation of natural transformation mechanisms in E. coli in an attempt to allow uptake and recombination of attC containing genetic elements with added convenience. This will include investigating the role of the transcription factor sxy, as well as other components of the DNA uptake systems of other gram negative bacteria that are naturally transformable. ...