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iGEM Sumbawagen 2014 · Econey



Biotechnology Faculty, Sumbawa University of Technology (SUT) was a new university, establish at May 2013 in Sumbawa Regency of West Nusa Tenggara Province of Indonesia. An Island located in east part of Indonesia.

As the impact of the geographical position according to the capital city of Indonesia which located Java island, Sumbawa has limited accessibility to the economic and education sector. There are only two university in Sumbawa, and the SUT in the one and the only technology university in Sumbawa which has Biotechnology Faculty as their prime major, especially in eastern part of Indonesia.

Picture 1. Campus view of Sumbawa University of Tecnology, the “Orange Building”

Picture 2. Campus view of Sumbawa University of Tecnology, the “Blue Building”

Which these such condition Sumbawagen team started their project from the very fresh beginning. The basic reason that motivated the Sumbawagen team is back to their first survey on introducing synthetic biology to Sumbawa society at 2013. Based on the survey results we had conclusion that most of Sumbawa people are already in touch with various of biotechnology product in their daily life. On the other side this fact does not goes in the same direction with the understanding of Sumbawa society to the biotechnology products. This condition lead our team to go deeper into the topic which involves synthetic biology and the development prospect among Sumbawa society.

Eventhough Sumbawagen team consist of sophomore and in shortage condition to the facility and accessibility such as, inspite of using the refrigerated microsentrifuge for the transformation process we using minicentrifuge inside the refrigerator. We also created home made shaker for our cultivation project. Those condition did not made our team lost the spirit to participated in the prestigious competition of IGEM (International Genetically Enginereed Machine) 2014. We encourage ourself to overcome the obstacle in front of us, like the quote from our Rector “ When there is a will, there is a way”.

Project Idea

Sumbawagen 2014 project is ECONEY (E. coli for Honey). ECONEY is engineered E.coli that capable to measure different level of glucose consentration in honey. BBa_J04450 has a lac promoter and mRFP gene, thus E. coli harboring this plasmid will give red color when the bacteria were grown with lactose or IPTG. Oppositely, the expression of mRFP will be decreased when glucose was present in medium through a mechanism called catabolite repression. We use this phenomenon to measure the concentration of glucose in honey by calibrating the color of E. coli medium using android-based mobile phone. Creation of novel circuit which consists of constitutive promoter followed by either Adenylate Cyclase or IIAGlc genes, which placed downward lac-mRFP circuit, may affect the sensitivity of catabolite repression. We expect an engineered E. coli, which shows red color expression in different range of glucose concentration. By changing mRFP gene with amilCP, a blue fluorescent protein, we may obtain E. coli expressing either red or blue color when different honey added to the medium due to different glucose concentration.