Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Notorious G.F.P. and Me

As many scientist and science-lovers know, the Nobel Prize for Chemistry was awarded to Osamu Shimomura (Marine Biological Laboratory), Martin Chalfie (Columbia University) and Roger Tsien (University of California, San Diego) for the discovery and utilization of green fluorescent protein, or GFP.

As a microbiologist, I am well-aware of the many scientific discoveries that have been aided by GFP and other fluorescent proteins. In my department, fluorescent proteins are commonly used for analyzing protein-protein interactions, protein localization and cell sorting.

In honor of GFP, I decided that I would share my use of this protein in my doctoral research. Unfortunately, it wasn't for anything super sexy, just determining a translational start site. In this case I fused a gfp gene, lacking a Shine-Dalgarno, downstream from two potential translational start sites. I introduced the fusions, in trans, into my organism of interest and assessed the fluorescence of the recombinant strains. Some of the pictures are located below.

I was alerted to the next picture on Wikipedia and I included it because it is way cool.
A San Diego beach scene drawn with an eight color palette of bacterial colonies expressing fluorescent proteins derived from GFP and the red-fluorescent coral protein dsRed. The colors include BFP, mTFP1, Emerald, Citrine, mOrange, mApple, mCherry and mGrape. Artwork by Nathan Shaner, photography by Paul Steinbach, created in the lab of Roger Tsien in 2006.


Anonymous said...

Hi there CLR. saw your profile on meetup and reading this about the Nobel prize made me recall a show I saw on Nova Science NOW that might be of interest!

it involves quorum sensing....

laters, lyle
from the skeptics

microbiologist xx said...

Hey Lyle!
Thanks for the link. I will check it out. Quorum sensing is pretty cool stuff.

Dr. A said...

Cool photos!!!

microbiologist xx said...

thanks Dr. A!!

Anonymous said...

are you working on anthrax?

microbiologist xx said...

I have worked on a variety of Gram-positive organisms.