Eva George Matlalcuatzi
Microbial communities play fundamental roles in natural ecosystems and in bioremediation. The aim of this project is to develop and validate a novel approach to understand and control those processes. The strategy is based on an approach termed bioorthogonal non-canonical amino acid tagging (BONCAT). This is a nondestructive technique that relies on the cellular uptake and incorporation into newly synthesized proteins of artificial amino acids that carry a chemically-modifiable tag. This allows translationally active cells to be identified through a click reaction in which a fluorophore-tagged molecule is ligated to the biorthogonal amino acid, resulting in a fluorescently labeled population of cells.