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Small transcriptional subnetworks in Mycobacterium

Trainee Achievements

Small transcriptional subnetworks in Mycobacterium

Recent work in the James Galagan lab at BU attempts to study small (<10 protein/gene) transcriptional subnetworks in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The lab has developed an inducible system in M. smegmatis, a closely related strain, that allows controlled expression of genes of interest. By associating transcription of these genes with fluorescent proteins, the expression dynamics of the subnetworks can be studied at high temporal resolution in single cells using a specially developed microfluidics device. By using multiple fluorescent proteins that are excited at different wavelengths, the dynamics of subnetworks with multiple genes can be imaged and characterized simultaneously. Before this work, only GFP and RFP have been successfully induced in M. smegmatis. For the Summer Wet-Lab experience, IGERT trainee Adam Labadorf conducted experiments to test a panel of nine other fluorescent proteins. Six of the nine were inducible in the system.