Team:Toronto

Logo

Welcome to iGEM 2018 Toronto

Welcome to our temporary landing page

Project Description:

Organisms such as Aphanizomenon flos-aquae and Bacillus megaterium naturally produce gas vesicles employed in floatation based functions, under different environmental conditions. Gas vesicle production is associated with a range of primary (GvpA, C) and secondary Gvp genes (GvpN, R, G, etc.) in its wildtype strains. These proteins are conserved across different species and have been targeted for a variety of applications, including waste effluent separation from water, bio-processing and metabolic accumulation or degradation of potentially toxic by-products. This flotation has many potential pragmatic applications in industries such as pharmaceutical production, wastewater processing, and the mining industry where removal of organic macromolecules or heavy metals is required. These industrial processes are often costly and/or inefficient. We aim to utilize this cellular behaviour as a separation technique for wastewater processing in various industries where the efficiency of current processes is cause for large financial and environmental burden, as reduction of pollution becomes increasingly important.

The Shapiro Lab has demonstrated that gas vesicles produced by their lab’s synthetically produced Arg1 operon can induce flotation in Escherichia coli. The Arg1 operon consists of repeats of the primary GvpA and GvpC genes derived from A. flos-aquae, as well as secondary Gvp genes from B. megaterium. We propose that combining cell-surface engineering of Escherichia coli with Arg1 transformation could yield a cellular bioremediation platform superior in both monetary and energetic efficiency compared to current approaches. It is known that E. coli can be engineered to express metal-binding peptides on its surface with certain specificity to particular metals. Given this, introducing a biomass of E. coli transformed with Arg1 and expressing metal-binding peptides on its surface into a bioreactor with effluent containing a particular metal of interest, the binding of metal particles to surface proteins could induce a downstream signal cascade that upregulates Arg1 expression. Expression of Arg1 would then induce flotation due to overexpression of gas vesicle proteins and subsequent assembly of gas vesicles. Future investigations could develop analogous mechanisms which would allow for the potential application of the removal of organic molecules which would produce a more modular and widespread applicability of this system. Investigation of the specific signalling mechanisms that could be leveraged for this process could be explored as well.

Optimization of the Arg1 construct for flotation in E. coli should yield the function of efficient, inducible flotation in transformed E. coli cells. The Arg1 operon is greater than 7kb and the secondary Gvp genes have no known fundamental role in the production of the gas vesicles. We aim to reduce the size of the Arg1 operon to exclude the secondary proteins, thereby relying on the primary proteins, and test flotation in E. coli cells. In addition to laboratory experimentation for characterization of the Arg1 construct, gas vesicles expressed by it, and the function/necessity of the gas vesicle proteins that go into forming the vesicles, our team will be doing extensive mathematical modelling and computational analysis of data to model growth dynamics of the engineered cell strain and the kinetics of metal binding surface proteins, as well as to determine the buoyant force imparted by gas vesicle expression. These secondary models will be fed into a larger model that aims to predict the potential performance and operating characteristics for our proposed cellular bioremediation platform on an industrial scale.

hello world

Before you start

Please don't read the following pages:

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

Tips

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!

Inspiration

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

Tips

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!

Inspiration

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