Team:Missouri Rolla

Welcome to iGEM 2018!

Your team has been approved and you are ready to start the iGEM season!


This year our project will focus on producing ash trees genetically resistant to the invasive emerald ash borer. Native North American ash trees have recently begun being infected with the emerald ash borer. The emerald ash borer is a beetle originally native to Asia, where ash trees have evolved resistance to the beetles, that have become an invasive species that kills ash trees throughout much of the United States. The mature beetles lay their eggs in the tree trunk. As the larvae hatch, they eat through the phloem and xylem in the ash tree, ultimately killing the plant by impairing its ability to transport nutrients and water. The death of ash trees has a ripple effect on their environment, killing trees which have been vital and beautiful parts of their ecosystem for decades.

Though there are ways currently on the market to protect trees from emerald ash borers, these treatments can be expansive and time consuming and, most problematically, ash borers have typically made deadly damage by the time their presence is noticeable. In effort to mitigate the effects of these beetles, the long-term plan would be to genetically modify ash trees to produce Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt. Bt is natively a soil-dwelling bacteria that produces a family of toxins that are an environmentally safe alternative to pesticides, as they produce proteins which can target gut proteins in different beetles. It is highly specific and only kills a certain species and is often ineffective on even closely related beetles, let alone pets or humans. We hope to have leaf specific expression of the Bt toxin in Arabidopsis thaliana to contain Bt toxin which will serve as a model for this same system in ash trees. Adult beetles feed on the leaves, will die as the protein crystallizes in their guts, and slowly lower the population of ash borers. We hope to modify Bt to be most effective against ash borers and measure the expression levels in Arabidopsis as a proof of concept for emerald ash borer resistant ash trees.

Using synthetic biology, our team intends to further the potential treatment of the ash tree. Producing ash trees resistant to the Emerald Ash Borer will hopefully prevent the further spread of the Emerald Ash Borer, provide relief to the surrounding ecosystems, and save one of North America's oldest and most reliable trees.

Styling your wiki

You may style this page as you like or you can simply leave the style as it is. You can easily keep the styling and edit the content of these default wiki pages with your project information and completely fulfill the requirement to document your project.

While you may not win Best Wiki with this styling, your team is still eligible for all other awards. This default wiki meets the requirements, it improves navigability and ease of use for visitors, and you should not feel it is necessary to style beyond what has been provided.

Uploading pictures and files

You must upload any pictures and files to the iGEM 2018 server. Remember to keep all your pictures and files within your team's namespace or at least include your team's name in the file name.

When you upload, set the "Destination Filename" to T--YourOfficialTeamName--NameOfFile.jpg. (If you don't do this, someone else might upload a different file with the same "Destination Filename", and your file would be erased!)

Wiki template information

We have created these wiki template pages to help you get started and to help you think about how your team will be evaluated. You can find a list of all the pages tied to awards here at the Pages for awards link. You must edit these pages to be evaluated for medals and awards, but ultimately the design, layout, style and all other elements of your team wiki is up to you!

Editing your wiki

On this page you can document your project, introduce your team members, document your progress and share your iGEM experience with the rest of the world!

Use WikiTools - Edit in the black menu bar to edit this page


This wiki will be your team’s first interaction with the rest of the world, so here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • State your accomplishments! Tell people what you have achieved from the start.
  • Be clear about what you are doing and how you plan to do this.
  • You have a global audience! Consider the different backgrounds that your users come from.
  • Make sure information is easy to find; nothing should be more than 3 clicks away.
  • Avoid using very small fonts and low contrast colors; information should be easy to read.
  • Start documenting your project as early as possible; don’t leave anything to the last minute before the Wiki Freeze. For a complete list of deadlines visit the iGEM 2018 calendar
  • Have lots of fun!


You can also view other team wikis for inspiration! Here are some examples: