Team:Macquarie Australia


Our project

Watch this cool video below!


This project has demonstrated functionality of our designed operons that represent the first step of the chlorophyll a biosynthesis. This was performed through the initial assembly of three operons containing the essential biosynthetic genes that were confirmed through gel electrophoresis and DNA sequencing (Fig. 1). The functionality of the first operon (Mg-chelatase) was demonstrated through the spectral analysis of its enzymatic product, Mg-Protophoryin IX (which can be seen on the Results page).

Figure 1. Flow chart of the chlorophyll a synthesis pathway. Operons containing the essential genes from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii are represented for their respective steps within the pathway. The spectral change of the compounds are represented in their respective colours of each step.

We have also modelled this step of the biosynthetic pathway (which can be seen on the Modelling page). The project was successful in building the foundations for future teams to complete the synthesis of photosystem II in E. coli. This provides a significant leap into the development of a hydrogen-generating bacterial system and a renewable biological energy source. Our policy and practice initiatives were also successful for increasing public awareness of the global energy crisis and the potential synthetic biology has to offer in providing a solution (which can be seen on the Policy & Practice page).