The Team

Integrons: Nature's cloning tool

Strange Nature

Integrons as a novel cloning system in E. coli

Integrons are natural systems for moving genetic material. They are found in a vast array of bacteria, often associated with rapidly evolving traits such as antibiotic resistance. This is because integrons capture and express mobile genetic elements known as gene cassettes, thus facilitating horizontal gene transfer. Gene cassettes are site selectively recombined by the integron integrase. We have designed BioBrick- compatible integron components that can be used as a novel, convenient and selective cloning system. Additionally, we have been 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.

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