Lycopene is the red pigment that gives tomatoes their color. This pigment is also made by microbes. In fact, transferring a 3-enzyme pathway to E. coli can convert farnesyl diphosphate (FPP) to lycopene. The computational tools and databases presented today can also be used to enhance lycopene production in E. coli or even produce different colors, such as the beta-carotene pigment that makes carrots orange. For the laboratory portion of this assignment, you will characterize lycopene production in the TOP10 E. coli strain from Addgene with either the pAC-LYC or pAC-LYCipi plasmid. You will also characterize beta-carotene production in E. coli from Addgene with the pAC-BETAipi plasmid. Note, the pAC-LYC plasmid contains three genes from Erwinia herbicola: CrtE, CrtI, and CrtB. The Arabidopsis thaliana idi gene is added to the pAC-LYCipi plasmid to boost lycopene production. The pAC-BETAipi plasmid produces beta-carotene through the addition of the Erwinia herbicola crtY gene. All plasmids include the gene for chloramphenicol resistance.
Short description of next week's assignment.