Team:BUCT-China/Human Practices

Human Practices

There are three main aspects of our team's human practice.

  • Beijing University of Chemical Technology iGEM contest presentation
  • Beijing University of Chemical Technology "iGEM" Competition
  • Expert advice
  • Factory tour

Beijing University of Chemical Technology iGEM contest presentation

We first learned from the people around us that in many people in our school don’t know iGEM competition and synthetic biology. Therefore, with the support of our teachers, we held a speech at the iGEM Competition of Beijing University of Chemical Technology.

The students gained a lot from the speech. However, through the questions raised by the students, we found that the students' interest was very strong, but the students' understanding of synthetic biology was not deep enough only through the demonstration. When we looked back on our own process of learning synthetic biology, we found that practice is important. So we organized a small competition - Beijing University of Chemical Technology "iGEM" contest to stimulate interested students. This gives them a deeper understanding of synthetic biology and helps them participate in future iGEM competitions.

Beijing University of Chemical Technology "iGEM" Competition

In the process of small competitions, we have had in-depth study and discussion with the participating teams. Many teams have good ideas and have a better understanding of synthetic biology.

We are also inspired while helping them improve. After learning about our validation experiments, they thought that our use of fluorescence as a standard for experimental quantification was not convincing. We should use multiple aspects of the data to characterize the functionality of our operons. Therefore, we characterize the sensitivity of the operator as a switch by three different concentrations of fatty acid content, fluorescence generation time and fluorescence content.

....Refer to the Educational Practices section for details of the presentations and small competitions.

Expert advice

The main research direction of Shen Chun is the efficient directional conversion of biomass to liquid fuels (such as biodiesel) and chemicals.

One of our panelists envisioned the idea of ​​using our fatty acid operons to quantify fatty acids, specifically by using our fatty acid operons (the control of fatty acid operons) in a medium containing different concentrations of fatty acids per unit time. Escherichia coli, which is a fluorescent protein gene expression gene, expresses different amounts of fluorescent protein, corresponding to the absorbance of different fluorescence values, so that the detection of fatty acids in the sample can be performed. I learned that biodiesel uses fatty oil methyl ester or ethyl ester formed by waste oil or microbial oil such as catering waste oil and methanol or ethanol. There is a need for detection of fatty acids, so we asked Shen Chun and told her that we Thoughts.

We mainly contacted by email. Shen Chun first confirmed that our idea is feasible, but at the same time she pointed out the shortcomings of our method: the operation is complicated, directly related to the level of the operator, and the sensitivity is not high; in addition, the current factory Compared with the laboratory mainly using gas chromatography, it is simple and sensitive, so she recommends gas chromatography. In addition, Shen Chun suggested that we can go deep into the factory, which is closer to actual production and is helpful to our human practice.

So after that we contacted a glyoxylic acid production plant for research.

Factory tour

Glyoxylic acid is an important organic chemical intermediate. It is widely used in the production of high value-added aromatic aldehydes such as vanillin and ethyl vanillin. It is also used in the production of biomodulator allantoin, herbicide glyphosate, and Glucosin, valerate and insecticide quetiapine; in medicine and food, glyoxylic acid is used in the production of antihypertensive drug alotrol, broad-spectrum antibiotic amoxicillin and feed additive calcium pantotheate; in addition, it also For the production of high-efficiency water treatment agent hydroxyphosphoric acid, in other fields, such as leather and electroplating applications are still in the development stage

We contacted a glyoxylic acid production plant. They have been mainly producing glyoxylic acid by chemical methods until now. They are trying to develop biosynthesis methods for glyoxylic acid. Their research and development is mainly based on cooperation with schools. Our school has established a small internship base for teaching. There are various small-scale production equipment and production workshops. At the same time, researchers use small workshops to simulate factories and conduct small-scale production experiments to facilitate scientific research. During this time, they are Try to use the production workshop to simulate the process of biosynthesis of glyoxylic acid developed by them. After learning the relevant information from the factory, we visited their small workshop and conducted some consultations.

Mr. Wang Wei, who brought us to visit, introduced us to many details that should be paid attention to in actual production. He told us that the actual industrial production and laboratory research are still very different. Through his explanation, we really understand this deeply.

During this period, we also conducted some consultations on the synthesis of glyoxylic acid and our projects.

-Can you brief us on the current status of the synthesis of glyoxylic acid?

- At present, there are few factories that actually realize the biosynthesis of glyoxylic acid. It is not mature enough. The chemical synthesis of glyoxylic acid has been developed for many years, and the related research has not stopped. It is more popular in the factory, but the chemical synthesis method There are still many drawbacks, so biosynthesis is getting more and more attention. The use of biological enzymes as catalysts to oxidize glycolic acid to produce glyoxylic acid is one of the most active methods for biosynthesis of glyoxylic acid in recent years. Based on this, the biosynthesis pathway of glyoxylic acid extracts highly active enzymes from plants, directly converts to glyoxylic acid, and then uses immobilized enzymes to produce, and the most potential is to construct high-yielding genetically engineered bacteria. This is also the research method that this factory hopes to try.

- Do you think that the operon we built has any important advancement in the biosynthesis of glyoxylate?

- Of course, there are few studies on the glyoxylate operon. Most of the genes used in the construction of engineering bacteria are derived from gene fragments in plants. If you design operons, you will consciously increase the efficiency of glyoxylate operon gene expression. It provides a feasible research route and theoretical basis for the efficient expression of the operon gene, which is of great significance for constructing higher-yielding engineering bacteria in the future.

Therefore, we focus on finding sites to improve the efficiency of gene expression when designing operons.