Team:Edinburgh UG/Demonstrate

Edinburgh iGEM 2018


All aspects of our project combine to provide a novel chassis for Synthetic Biology: Maxicells. These maxicells are easy to use and can be safely deployed into the environment through the use of our Triple Lock System.

Maxicell Characterisation

  • We have assessed various methods of maxicell production and have concluded that they are easy to make through UV exposure and homing endonuclease action
  • Our knockdown construct BBa_K2725008 allows maxicell production by theoretically any strain of E. coli
  • We have shown that maxicells can function as a biosensor
  • The active lifespan of maxicells was found to be enough for real-world applications: over 18 hours

The Triple Lock System

  • We have developed a model that allows fine-tuning of the maxicell lifespan through the use of a Colicin E2 kill switch
  • Semantic containment of our plasmid DNA was demonstrated as a feasible method of preventing expression of our genes by foreign organisms, whilst allowing expression in our chassis.
  • Triclosan was successfully used as a selection marker as an alternative to antibiotic resistance and a new, triclosan resistant plasmid backbone was produced

When put together, our final maxicell product would therefore have virtually no risk to the biosphere upon environmental release.

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