"E. coli has more than four thousand genes, and the functions of one-fourth of these remain unknown," says Dr. Deborah Siegele, a biology professor at Texas A&M University whose laboratory specializes in carrying out research using the bacterium.
Harmless E. coli strains are normally found in the intestines of many animals, including humans, but some strains can cause diseases.
Siegele and her co-workers at the University of California San Francisco, Nara Institute of Science Technology and Purdue University have devised a novel method that allows rapid and large-scale studies of the E. coli genes. The researchers believe their new method, described in the current online issue of Nature Methods, will allow them to gain a better understanding of the E. coli gene functions.
The principle behind this new method is genetic interaction. Interaction between genes produces observable effects, and this allows researchers to identify the gene functions. The research team has called their new method GIANT-Coli, short for genetic interaction analysis technology for E. coli.
The team believes that its method has great potential to quicken the progress of discovering new gene functions. The use of GIANT-Coli has already allowed researchers to identify some previously unknown genetic interactions in E. coli.
To study genetic interaction, researchers need to use what they call double-mutant strains. GIANT-Coli allows large-scale generation of these double-mutant strains (high-throughput generation). And this is the first time that a high-throughput generation method for double mutants of E. coli has been developed.
Why is it so important to know the E. coli better? "Much of what we know about other bacteria, including the more dangerous ones like Vibrio cholerae, comes from our knowledge of E. coli," says Siegele. "The E. coli is a model organism."
Siegele says that GIANT-Coli can be developed to study genetic interactions in other bacteria, and because some proteins are conserved from bacteria to humans, perhaps some of the results can even be extrapolated to gene function in humans. Moreover, Siegele points out that the method has obvious application in medicine because understanding gene functions in harmful bacteria will help in developing better treatment approaches.
Dr. Deborah Siegele | EurekAlert!
Turning carbon dioxide into liquid fuel
06.08.2020 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory
Tellurium makes the difference
06.08.2020 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT have come up with a striking new addition to contact stamping technologies in the ERDF research project ScanCut. In collaboration with industry partners from North Rhine-Westphalia, the Aachen-based team of researchers developed a hybrid manufacturing process for the laser cutting of thin-walled metal strips. This new process makes it possible to fabricate even the tiniest details of contact parts in an eco-friendly, high-precision and efficient manner.
Plug connectors are tiny and, at first glance, unremarkable – yet modern vehicles would be unable to function without them. Several thousand plug connectors...
An international research team has found a new approach that may be able to reduce bone loss in osteoporosis and maintain bone health.
Osteoporosis is the most common age-related bone disease which affects hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide. It is estimated that one in three women...
Traditional single-cell sequencing methods help to reveal insights about cellular differences and functions - but they do this with static snapshots only...
“Core-shell” clusters pave the way for new efficient nanomaterials that make catalysts, magnetic and laser sensors or measuring devices for detecting electromagnetic radiation more efficient.
Whether in innovative high-tech materials, more powerful computer chips, pharmaceuticals or in the field of renewable energies, nanoparticles – smallest...
An international research team with Prof. Cornelia Denz from the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Münster develop for the first time light fields using caustics that do not change during propagation. With the new method, the physicists cleverly exploit light structures that can be seen in rainbows or when light is transmitted through drinking glasses.
Modern applications as high resolution microsopy or micro- or nanoscale material processing require customized laser beams that do not change during...
23.07.2020 | Event News
21.07.2020 | Event News
07.07.2020 | Event News
06.08.2020 | Earth Sciences
06.08.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering
06.08.2020 | Life Sciences