Santa Claes, Feliz Navidad, Tomte Ness E., Ten N. Baum, Hanukkah Harry, Bada Din Sridhar, Jeremy Elf (2008): Metabolic engineering of Picea abies for receptor mediated induction of fluorescence and olfactory signaling. Proc Natl Acad Sci, North Pole 12:25-31. [PDF]
AbstractIn diesem Sinne - ich wünsche euch allen Frohe Weihnachten! Und versucht mal, euren Baum anzusingen, vielleicht habt ihr ja eins dieser transgenen Exemplare bei euch stehen!
Reoccurring seasonal harvesting of Picea abies (Norwegian spruce) and the subsequent attachment of light fixtures to the tree followed by composting after only 3 weeks of minimal use is not only a waste but also leads to diminishing spruce forests, release of carbon dioxide, global warming, increased energy consumption and a political burden to the ongoing diplomatic efforts of Santa Claus. We here present a synthetic biology solution to address this key concerns for winter celebrations – A song induced Christmas tree with endogenous light and odor emission. Advances in synthetic biology, tissue engineering and metabolic engineering have now provided new insights and techniques for controlling whole organism signaling and bio-compound production in situ, and recent efforts in synthetic biology have demonstrated that complex regulatory and metabolic networks can be designed and engineered in microorganisms and simple eukaryotes. Leading researchers at the NorthPole Bioscience Engineering Council here disclose how sonic-induced signals received through tissue engineered tympanal organs are incorporated into regulating the metabolic distribution of fluorescent and olfactory signals in Picea abies. Upon induction, the cellular nodality of the tree branches emit light at predefined wavelength due to engineered luciferases mTwinkie (yellow), mWonderbread (white) and mSnoBalls (pink). The synthetic induction system also triggers the production and emission of seasonal olfactory signals including trans-cinnamaldehyde (cinnamon), 6-gingerol (ginger), and methyl salicylate (mint). The synthetic pathway is hereby denoted xmas1.