Unigems: plasmids and parts to facilitate teaching on assembly, gene expression control and logic in E. coli

Alex Siddall, Abbie Ann Williams, Jason Sanders, Jai A. Denton, Dean Madden, John Schollar, Jarosław Bryk

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Synthetic biology enables the creative combination of engineering and molecular biology for exploration of fundamental aspects of biological phenomena. However, there are limited resources available for such applications in the educational context, where straightforward setup, easily measurable phenotypes and extensibility are of particular importance. We developed unigems, a set of ten plasmids that enable classroom-based investigation of gene-expression control and biological logic gates to facilitate teaching synthetic biology and genetic engineering. It is built on a high-copy plasmid backbone and is easily extensible thanks to a common primer set that facilitates Gibson assembly of PCR-generated or synthesized DNA parts into the target vector. It includes two reporter genes with either two constitutive (high- or low-level) or two inducible (lactose- or arabinose-) promoters, as well as a single-plasmid implementation of an AND logic gate. The set can readily be employed in undergraduate teaching settings, during outreach events and for training of iGEM teams. All plasmids have been deposited in Addgene.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalAccess Microbiology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sep 2023

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