News Reports & Publications

RiboFACSeq: A New Method for Investigating Metabolic and Transport Pathways in Bacterial Cells by Combining a Riboswitch-Based Sensor, Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting and Next-Generation Sequencing.


Authors on the publication, Shahrzad Jahanashi. and Zohaib Ghazi.

In recent years, we have seen tremendous advancements in numerous areas of research, owing in large part to the advent of modern high-throughput technologies. However, certain research fields, such as gene function discovery, still employ conventional/traditional techniques, which often lack throughput, sensitivity and/or specificity. As a solution to these problems, Dr. Yingfu Li’s lab have proposed a new method for discovering the metabolic and transport pathways of a metabolite-of-interest in living bacterial cells by combining the use of a RNA-based sensor (i.e. a riboswitch sensor) that is responsive to the target metabolite, fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) and high-throughput sequencing. As a proof of principle, they successfully demonstrated the efficacy of thier approach by targeting the genes involved in the transport and biosynthesis of vitamin B12, which is a particularly difficult pathway to study as the molecules involved are produced in trace-quantities. Overall, Li’s lab’s approach can be broadly employed in the study of metabolic pathways, and enhance the rate and accuracy of gene function discovery.

Read the full publication in PLOS