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Mgfp-5 is an adhesive protein present in the foot of mussels. It is known to be an important part of what makes mussels stick on surfaces. We hoped to express mgfp-5 on the surface of S. cerevisiae to enhance its adherence to materials such as polystyrene or treated plastics and promote adherence to other yeast cells. We discovered that it already was a part in the Parts Registry, but only characterized in E. coli. The previous team expressed it in E. coli and ran a protein quantitative assay, the results of which can be found here. We decided that we’d take a different approach in assaying the results, to observe what mgfp-5-expressing yeast grew like under the microscope and how it adhered in flowing conditions. Our results show conclusive evidence that mgfp-5-expressing yeast “cluster”, form clumps of cells that grow on and around on another, more often and to a larger degree than non-mgfp-5-expressing yeast. We hope that this could be used to create a biomaterial or a bioadhesive that could be natural and biodegradable.

Figure 1:
Control, non-induced mgfp- 5 yeast. Dispersed, no major clustering.

Figure 2:
Experiment, induced mgfp- 5 yeast. 3-D cluster of yeast cells growing around and on top of other cells.