A Study On Green Fluorescent Proteins

1642 Words Feb 19th, 2016 7 Pages
Question:
Would the GFP gene in a pGLO transformed E. coli be activated by a sugar other than arabinose?

Introduction:
Green Fluorescent Protein, produced by the bioluminescent jellyfish Aequorea victoria, is a protein that fluoresces green under ultraviolet light. Since its discovery, properties of the protein have been improved by mutations in the gene resulting in the expansion of its spectrum, which now contains brighter variants and multiple different colors. GFP is used in a wide variety of applications and technologies. Its many different applications have contributed greatly, and continue to do so, in numerous fields of study including, but not limited to, cellular and molecular biology, microbiology, biotechnology, and medicine.

In the pGLO Bacterial Transformation lab, Escherichia coli is transformed with a gene encoding green fluorescent protein by inserting a plasmid containing the GFP gene, beta-lactamase, and arabinose into the bacterium. Successfully transformed bacteria will grow in the presence of ampicillin and glow a bright green color under ultraviolet light. The sugar arabinose is responsible for switching on the GFP gene in the transformed cells, without it, the gene will not be expressed.

The requirement of the presence of arabinose in the pGLO lab in order to activate the gene for the green fluorescent protein highly intrigued me. The idea that a simple sugar held the key to the final step of the transformation, made me wonder if other sugars,…
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