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A synthetic genetic edge detection program.

Edge detection is a signal processing algorithm common in artificial intelligence and image recognition programs. We have constructed a genetically encoded edge detection algorithm that programs an isogenic community of E. coli to sense an image of light, communicate to identify the light-dark edges, and visually present the result of the computation. The algorithm is implemented using multiple genetic circuits. An engineered light sensor enables cells to distinguish between light and dark regions. In the dark, cells produce a diffusible chemical signal that diffuses into light regions. Genetic logic gates are used so that only cells that sense light and the diffusible signal produce a positive output. A mathematical model constructed from first principles and parameterized with experimental measurements of the component circuits predicts the performance of the complete program. Quantitatively accurate models will facilitate the engineering of more complex biological behaviors and inform bottom-up studies of natural genetic regulatory networks.

Pubmed ID: 19563759

Authors

  • Tabor JJ
  • Salis HM
  • Simpson ZB
  • Chevalier AA
  • Levskaya A
  • Marcotte EM
  • Voigt CA
  • Ellington AD

Journal

Cell

Publication Data

June 26, 2009

Associated Grants

  • Agency: NIAID NIH HHS, Id: AI067699
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: F32 GM082106-01A1
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: F32 GM082106-02
  • Agency: NEI NIH HHS, Id: PN1 EY016546
  • Agency: NEI NIH HHS, Id: PN1 EY016546-01
  • Agency: NIAID NIH HHS, Id: R01 AI067699
  • Agency: NIAID NIH HHS, Id: R01 AI067699-01A1
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: R01 GM067779
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: R01 GM067779-04
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: R01 GM076536
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: R01 GM076536-04
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: R01 GM077040
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: R01 GM077040-05
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: R01GM077040

Mesh Terms

  • Algorithms
  • Computer Graphics
  • Escherichia coli
  • Image Enhancement
  • Light
  • Models, Theoretical