Rice University Collaboration
The UT-Austin team reached out to the Rice team early in the Summer of 2018 to determine if our teams could help each other. We decided to meet at the Rice campus and share our project ideas.
At the meet-up, we presented our project ideas to each other and discussed ways in which we could integrate our projects. Rice’s project revolved around modifying the T7 Expression system to be more broad host range, which fit with our goal of creating a broad host range plasmid kit to easily and efficiently transform non-model organisms. They suggested they could benefit from using some of the promoter part plasmids we created to test transcription independent of translation. We were able to provide a protocol for transforming Acinetobacter
We also gave them a one tube reaction with a protocol to test to act as a prototype of the complete kit. Once they transformed the one tube containing our assemblies into their organisms of interest, they could determine which origin of replication functioned and utilize that information.
Albert Truong, of the Rice 2018 iGEM Team, provided their results and feedback when transforming our assemblies into E. coli in their lab. The Rice team also provided us with valuable insight and suggestions on how we could improve our kit protocol.
Texas Tech University Collaboration
In order to strengthen our partnership and continue our collaboration efforts with two additional Texas iGEM teams, Texas Tech and Austin’s Liberal Arts and Science Academy. These teams met with us as part of the Fall Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Texas at Austin in September of this year. Here, we discussed our projects and gave suggestions to each team related to achieving various medal requirements. This was the third consecutive year we hosted an iGEM meetup at UT Austin, and we hope to continue this tradition for the foreseeable future. This was the first year that the LASA high school team joined us, but the third year that we have met up with Texas Tech!
Our relationship this year was mutualistically beneficial. Primarily, Texas Tech offered to assist us in trying out our Broad Host Range plasmid kit and the one tube method, while we helped Texas Tech overhaul their methods for plasmid assembly. We introduced them to Golden Gate Assembly (GGA), providing them with our protocols and highlighting the benefits of GGA. Ryan Bailey of the UT Austin team has and is continuing to work with Brandon Palomo of the Texas Tech team, giving them Golden Gate Assembly advice and protocols. We also introduced Texas Tech to Phytobricks and how these could help them in lab. We hope that this collaboration will ultimately benefit Texas Tech by speeding up their assemblies and improving their overall efficiency in lab.