Research Perspectives - Tools for Visualisation of Portfolios
EPSRC logo

EPSRC Database


Source RCUK EPSRC Data

EP/H019162/1 - Sandpit: The Programmable Rhizosphere

Research Perspectives grant details from EPSRC portfolio

http://www.researchperspectives.org/gow.grants/grant_EPH0191621.png

Dr JP Haseloff EP/H019162/1 - Sandpit:  The Programmable Rhizosphere

Principal Investigator - Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge

Other Investigators

Professor A Wipat, Co InvestigatorProfessor A Wipat

Scheme

Standard Research

Research Areas

Synthetic Biology Synthetic Biology

Programming Languages and Compilers Programming Languages and Compilers

Start Date

12/2009

End Date

06/2013

Value

£972,909

Similar Grants

Automatic generation of similar EPSRC grants

Similar Topics

Topic similar to the description of this grant

Grant Description

Summary and Description of the grant

Humans have striven for centuries to control and exploit living organisms for their own purposes. Agricultural practices have been developed to maximise the yield of plants and animals. More recently, microbial systems have been manipulated to increase their utility in the food, biotech and brewing industries. Many of these changes have been achieved through breeding and chance selection for improved agronomic characters. Recent developments in genetic engineering have allowed scientists to apply precise perturbations that lead to beneficial changes in an organism. However, the complexity of biological systems makes it difficult to manually design and implement large changes that predictably produce an intended phenotype using conventional genetic engineering techniques. Our ability to synthesise DNA far outstrips our ability to design new genetic systems. Synthetic Biology holds the promise of rational design and reproducible fabrication of biological circuits that can be used to introduce a desired function in an organism. One of the main premises of this approach is that engineering principles should be applied to the design of modular circuits from well-characterized parts and components, using defined composition rules. A framework that enables this approach to the engineering of biology has, to date, been lacking. In this project, we propose to develop such a framework, and a unique library of new DNA parts. Specifically, we propose to tackle the problem of how cellular circuits in organisms (such as microbes and plants) can be designed in to self-organise and interact with other organisms in a predictable and robust fashion. To this end we will develop novel mathematical and computational approaches that automatically transform a quantitative description of a desired function into a circuit design that implements this function in bacteria. In addition we will generate a collection of DNA parts that will allow the construction of new channels of communication between different cell populations or organisms, and the pathways for symbiotic exchange of nutrients. There are many situations where improvements in the ability to regulate cells, and to form stable new ecologies, would be of benefit to humans. These range from applications in tissue engineering through to bioremediation, biotechnology and bioenergy. In this project we have chosen to focus on the relationship between plants and soil bacteria that normally live alongside the root system. We wish to engineer communication between a model bacterium and model plant, to allow negotiation and establishment of a new symbiotic relationship. The system would have many applications for improvements in sustainable agriculture, bioproduction and food security, such as improvements in soil use, pest resistance, weed suppression and creation of new crop plants capable of nitrogen fixation.

Structured Data / Microdata


Grant Event Details:
Name: Sandpit: The Programmable Rhizosphere - EP/H019162/1
Start Date: 2009-12-09T00:00:00+00:00
End Date: 2013-06-08T00:00:00+00:00

Organization: University of Cambridge

Description: Humans have striven for centuries to control and exploit living organisms for their own purposes. Agricultural practices have been developed to maximise the yield of plants and animals. More recently, microbial systems have been manipulated to increase the ...