Image from figure 2 of Martinelli et al. BMC Microbiology 2004 4:25 doi:10.1186/1471-2180-4-25
Following up on Avery's blog and research note, on present issues with the YES assay and BLYES assay for easy use outside of a lab. We are investigating whether estrogen responsiveness might be linked to the expression of purple pigment know as Violacein.
Violacein is pigment that has been extracted from amazonian bacteria see http://www.horizonpress.com/jmmb/v2/v2n4/26.pdf. It has been optimized to be used a reporter element by synthetic biologists: http://partsregistry.org/wiki/index.php/Part:BBa_K274002 and http://partsregistry.org/Part:BBa_K274002:Experience
We are interested to see if the yeast might be able to produce this pigment as well. The benefits of this using this pigment would be an assay for estrogens that is easily legible because the color of the yeast would change.
Some important questions to investigate are: 1. Are there potential hazards associated with violacein? Pigments like other chemicals can be biologically active. It will be interesting to investigate the other biological activities associated with this pigment. A good place to begin this research is: http://www.wikigenes.org/e/chem/e/5359453.html 2. Can yeast express Violacein? Synthetic biology teams are investigating whether the pigment can be expressed in yeast. We are presently following up with them: http://2011.igem.org/Team:Johns_Hopkins/Project/Violacein