June 22nd, 2012 | Category: Arabidopsis, iGEM, Metabolic engineering, Papers | Leave a comment

Harvard iGEM 2010

The iGEM team from Harvard 2010, and their iGarden have found their way to publication in the Journal of Biological Engineering. Their new paper, “A BioBrick compatible strategy for genetic modification of plants“

April 12th, 2012 | Category: Papers, Synthetic Biology | 2 comments

Expressing bacterial operons in plants

One of the advantages of working with bacteria is that genes can be clustered together under control of a single promoter (known as an operon). Multiple protein products can therefore be generated from a single messenger RNA strand (the mRNA is said to be polycistronic (Fig. 1)).

February 29th, 2012 | Category: Papers | Leave a comment

Nessun dorma

Here is a detour. In this instance a trip into plant metabolism in order to mark the online publication of our latest paper in New Phytologist earlier this month. Whilst there isn’t any synthetic biology here there is biology, and an illustration of how genetics and the environment combine to influence plant behaviour.

February 29th, 2012 | Category: Miscellany, Papers | Leave a comment


Horizontal gene transfer is a process where useful genes are transferred between species. It is common in prokaryotes, but here’s a more rare example of the phenomenon across 2 kingdoms of life. A natural version of synthetic biology. Read all about it here and here.

February 6th, 2012 | Category: Arabidopsis, Media coverage | Leave a comment

How To Grow A Planet (featuring Exeter Biosciences)

Tune in to BBC2 on Tuesday 7th Feb @ 9pm to see University of Exeter Plant Science on the telly!  This first episode of a new three-part series, “How To Grow A Planet“, features an experiment I performed especially for the programme, which aimed to visualise communication between plants.