Wyatt D. Blackson
Hometown: Scottsdale, Arizona, United States
Graduation date: Spring 2023
FURI | Fall 2020
Developing a Screening Method in Preparation for Directed Evolution of Cyanophycin SynthetaseThis project’s motivation is to determine if the enzyme cyanophycin synthetase (CphA) can be engineered to incorporate non-natural amino-acids in its active site to produce novel variants of cyanophycin, a naturally made biopolymer. E. coli cell cultures expressing the enzyme CphA will be harvested alongside the Wild-Type. Different concentrations of canavanine, a non-natural amino-acid, will be added to both types of cells in media solutions. Growth rate will be tracked over 24 hours to determine if CphA provides a growth advantage. This will provide a baseline for the directed evolution of CphA to incorporate other amino-acids into the cyanophycin biopolymer.
Mentor: Brent Nannenga