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Nicotiana Benthamiana

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Zuba’s research is in genetics and molecular biology, for her PhD project she works with Nicotiana Benthamiana, a plant indigenous to Australia located in Northern parts of Australia. It’s known for its many qualities such as protein localisation, interaction, or plantbased systems for protein expression and purification. Extensively used in laboratories round the world for metabolic engineering, plant-microbe interacting, RNAi, vaccine production and functional genomics. She is trying to uncover the genes responsible for successful anthocyanin biosynthesis. Anthocyanin's are pigments that provide colours in red, purple, and blue plants, flowers, fruits, vegetables and cereals. She looks at the genetic differences between two types of
Nicotiana Benthamiana plants.


Paula has created a visual assimilation of the plant in it’s lab experimental stages, highlighting its many qualities including vibrant illuminating tones seen through the bright greens and pink/purple tones in the background. The purple dot work in the background represents DNA stands due to the plants use in creating RNA vaccines because of the protein expression quality it possesses. The pink round asymmetrical shapes represent the plants background being Indigenous to Australia. These asymmetrical shapes and textured effects of purple and pink embody the earthy patterns found in nature. The use of the vibrant illuminated purple and pink tones allow the plants glow to stand out as it floats in a whimsical notion centralised in the artwork. The artwork is a depiction of science meets art a unified phenomenon that allows for unique imaginative exploration. As the famous Isaac Asimov said “There is an art to science, and science in art; the two are not enemies, but different aspects of the whole”.


Color – Black
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Nicotiana Benthamiana was created with support from

Nicotiana Benthamiana
Nicotiana Benthamiana
Nicotiana Benthamiana

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