It’s already been like 5 weeks since the INBRE program started and I can definitely say I’ve learnt a lot. I have been in the lab for almost a year but working in the lab everyday like a researcher, definitely feels great.
So far I completed my first experiment. In this experiment I determined the affinity of different metals towards the riboswitch which is present upstream of the MntE gene in the negative sense in Pneumococcus and is thought to control its expression. The actual function of riboswitch is still uncertain but from my experiment I can definitely tell that the aptamer region of the riboswitch binds to Manganese and the binding reduces the effect of hairpin following the aptamer. This allows the expression of the gene following the riboswitch. I also did the same experiment with different concentrations of Manganese. I did β-galactosidase assay to verify the interaction of different metals with the riboswitch. The picture below depicts me watching the color change that occurs when β-galactosidase reacts with ONPG. If the genes are expressed and β-galactosidase is formed, the solution turns yellow as seen in the picture.