Saving the bananas
Every time you go to the supermarket or to the local market to buy bananas you take for granted that there will be bananas readily available for you to enjoy and savour. However, banana plants are under threat and a world without bananas is more plausible than we all might imagine. Banana plants are threatened by Fusarium oxysporum. This pathogenic soil fungus enters plants through their root systems and lives off of them until they die. This fungus currently threatens all banana plants worldwide. Bananas, apart from being a delicious fruit, have economic importance in many tropical regions and are an important part of the diet. These are the reasons why the iGEM team Wageningen 2014 has designed and created BananaGuard, a genetic system in Pseudomonas putida that detects the presence of F. oxysporum in the soil and produces a combination of antifungals to remove the fungal threat. If you want to read more about the system and our work during the last six months, the iGEM team Wageningen 2014 invites you to continue surfing around our Wiki.
Going for Gold
As an iGEM team we worked very hard for the past couple of months with the medal requirements in mind. Below is a list of why we deserve gold this year.
- Registered for iGEM
- Completed judging form
- Have a team Wiki
- Present a poster and talk at the iGEM jamboree
- Documented attributions
- Documented and submitted 27 parts to the iGEM Registry
- Met criteria for bronze
- Validated and submitted the following Biobrick parts from our own project: Fusaric acid dependent promoter (Bba_K1493000), pfri (Bba_K1493200) and Kill switch genes and promoters (Bba_K1493801, Bba_K1493802, Bba_K1493804, Bba_K1493805 and Bba_K1493806)
- Characterized the following Biobrick parts from our own project: Fusaric acid dependent promoter (Bba_K1493000), pfri (Bba_K1493200)
- Considered safety in our project by implementing a Kill-switch system and a system to prevent horizontal gene transfer
- Collaborated with Synenergene and discussed many safety-concerning topics in synthetic biology and created techno-moral vignettes based on our project (see Synenergene).
- Met all criteria for silver
- Improved the functions of existing BioBrick promoter parts (BBa_K1493504, BBa_K1493501) by an extensive characterization
- Collaborated with iGEM TU_Delft-Leiden from the Netherlands by quantifying biofilm production formed in E. coli (see collaboration)
- Organized the first Dutch National meetup with Dutch iGEM teams and laid a foundation for collaboration with the Dutch Institute of Health and Environment (RIVM) (see National meet-up)
- A symposium and panel session was organized with to inform government officials about the risks and possibilities of synthetic biology, sparking the public debate about the use of synthetic biology (see policy)
- Interviewed and discussed our project with panama disease specialists and stakeholders (see interview)
- Participated in interlab study
- Met all criteria for gold
For more details check out our achievements page!