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The Story of Prometheus
We are iGEMers from BNU-China, we are going to tell you a story about E.coli Prometheus ...
Mr E.coli Prometheus is a philanthropic bacterium. One day, he saw many poor peanuts living in so tough a condition that they couldn't grow up nor to flower. He was determined to do something and help!
He turned to us. He asked us for the power to collect molybdate and send them to poor peanuts. We told him: " Since you were not naturally born with the power, for the sake of other lives, you must die after." But he was as determined as ever.
With his power, E.coli Prometheus collected molybdate ...
He sent the precious micro-nutrient to those peanuts everyday. The peanuts became more and more healthier and was about to flower ...
Sadly, E.coli Prometheuspassed away before he saw the flowers of peanut. He suicided as promised. His body changed into nutrition for peanut after his death.
     He is honorable.

Our work

The ability of rhizobium to fix nitrogen is essential for legumes growth and development. The stronger the ability, the less chemical fertilizer will be used. Molybdenum is a key element in rhizobial nitrogen fixing enzyme, and is also necessary for the growth of plants themselves. However, Mo being heavy mental, abusing it will pollute the environment. Hence, spot application of Mo is of great importance; it would be even better to concentrate the element only around the roots.

We transferred our designed plasmids into E.coli "Prometheus" to make it express a fusion protein: one half of it anchors on the outter membrane and the other side, namely ModA, absorbs molybdate. With the help of organic acid chemotaxis system, our "Prometheus" will head for the roots. A suicide system depending on time is also designed for bio-safety concerns. E.coli Prometheus will deliver Mo directly to the root. This opens a new chapter of biological fertilizer.

Wiki Design

Art design, pictures, figures and the latest experiment results were put on the wiki, an important platform to show our works.


ModA we use in our project can bind the molybdate, and INPN can display ModA on E.coli surface.


We use McfR plasmid to give E.coli the capacity of Chemotaxis, so that those E.coli carrying molybdate can "swim" to the root of peanut.


We have made a model of peanut roots and E.coli in surrounding environment to simulate our idea in soil.

Latest Works