Team:JMU Wuerzburg/Collaborations

Official Mentoring Program Cooperation with Team Munich

The German Meetup in Marburg was the initial chance for us to meet many other iGEM teams from all over Germany. We received a lot of helpful advice regarding team structuring and organisation and became interested in the official mentoring program. Later at the European Meetup in Munich we finally initiated a mentoring cooperation with team Munich and together we are now taking part in the official mentoring program. As a very successful and well-established team they are the right contact persons to help us with different problems that need to be solved during the process of evolving our project. Our team on the other hand, recently funded and full of iGEM youngsters, we can ask them everything about team organisation, sponsoring or iGEM deadlines quickly receiving helpful answers. Read our monthly mentoring reports for further Details.
fehlt iGem-Team Munich, picture taken by Team Munich.

Mentoring report August JMU_Wuerzburg

Our mentoring partner from Munich always supported us concerning various tasks and provided us with help whenever necessary. At first, they helped us with working out regulations for our team to ensure that every team member is properly working on the project. Furthermore, Team Munich supported us with our InterLab Study by sending us their remaining silica beads for the experiment and answering all our remaining questions. They also advised us for the track selection, when we were not sure if we had to choose the track “diagnostic” or “open”. To help us improve our sponsoring outreach, they sent us their sponsoring brochure as an example for us to create our own. With the help of their guideline we improved the design of our brochure. We hope that this helps us getting more recognition from sponsors for our project. In addition, they gave us hints, how to reach out to more sponsors. Furthermore, Team Munich helped us with the wiki. We followed their idea of a premature wiki freeze to increase the amount of contents in our wiki.

Mentoring report September JMU_Wuerzburg

September was a busy month for us and we had to meet some crucial deadlines: During our regular skype conference Team Munich provided us with useful information about the wiki the Giant Jamboree and the design of the BioBricks.

At first, we introduced a new project abstract to replace the outdated version of our project description. For an example they sent us their abstract. Several members of Team Munich conducted some final proofreading to shorten our abstract text and advised us for the finishing touches on it.

Our questions about the documents and texts necessary for the judges to evaluate our work were also answered in a following mail. Furthermore, they gave us some advice on how to process our protocols for the wiki. Our doubts whether to use screenshots of programs we used to analyse our data were also eliminated.

But the main part of the meeting was consumed by a conversation about the Giant Jamboree and how to conduct a good presentation. To keep these things in mind, Eni emailed us a list with all the aspects to consider for creating an impressive appearance. They also told us that a hardware demonstration during the presentation is not allowed.

In the end Eni explained to us how to design and dispatch the BioBricks and gave us the hint to use the program “benchling” for an easier design of the BioBrick.

Collaboration Team JMU_Wuerzburg and Team Tuebingen

We sat together with Team Tuebingen to discuss the most urgent issues in the first months of initiating an iGEM team: “How does this wiki thing work?”, “What is Human Practice?”, “Which university staff are the right ones to bother with certain problems?”, “And how in the world do you raise enough money to pay the registration fee?”. Team Tuebingen has answered all our questions and has provided plenty of information to us giving a first impression of how iGEM works.

We followed their advice on how to get in touch with biotech companies and visited the Analytica fair in Munich. As a benefit we were able to overcome all the initial lab material shortages. Besides gaining experience in talking to companies, we met iGEM team Duesseldorf for the first time. After getting started and managing to find sponsors for our emerging project, team Tuebingen continued to support us regarding further iGEM formalities. They also supported us with helpful advice for the submission of the Safety Form.

Furthermore, team Tuebingen has offered to review our website and invited us to participate in a presentation workshop to practice for the Giant Jamboree.

Cooperation with iGEM Team Marburg – iGEM 2018 Vibrigens InterLab Study

Our team first met iGEM team Marburg at the German iGEM meetup in June. There we heard about their project Vibrigens – Accelerating Synbio.

fehlt Figure 1: V. natriegens
InterLab study kit.
Team Marburg strives to establish Vibrio natriegens as the new chassis organism for synthetic biology.1 V. natriegens is a gram-negative, non-pathogenic, marine bacteria with a population doubling time of seven minutes.2 In comparison, the common model organism Escherichia coli has a doubling time between 40 and 64 min.3 By using V. natriegens culture growing time was reduced significantly so that one day cloning became feasible. Team Marburg also built and characterized a flexible golden-gate-based part collection, consisting of more than 100 parts, which enables them to create complex pathways in a short period of time. The V. natriegens strains VibriClone and VibriExpress were designed for cloning and protein expression applications, respectively. Moreover, team Marburg established the first synthetic metabolic pathway in this organism now producing the platform chemical 3-hydroxypropionate. In addition, they developed an accelerated workflow for metabolic engineering along the way.1

As team Marburg works on such an exciting project we were very interested in working with their new model organism. Our collaboration started on the 9th September 2018 when team Marburg sent us their kit. The kit arrived a few days later and comprises one plate with V. natriegens wild type, 20 aliquots of recovery media (BHI + v2 + 680 mM sucrose), 3 falcon tubes with 50 mL 10x v2 Salt (204 mM NaCl, 4.2 mM KCl, 23.14 mM MgCl2), 4 falcon tubes with 2.5x electroporation buffer (680 mM sucrose , 7 nM K2HPO4, pH 7), a 10 mL-falcon tube with LB + v2 for the overnight culture for the competent cells, 8 1.5 mL-Eppendorf tubes with the following plasmids from the InterLab study, as well as a protocol (Appendix: Protocol Vibrigens Interlab.pdf) and a team-prospect.

The cooperation was about conducting an InterLab study which was designed by team Marburg with V. natriegens instead of E. coli. The InterLab study contained four steps. Transformation, cell growth, sampling, and assay and should be done in about three days. We spent the first day preparing solutions, media and an overnight culture of V. natriegens. The second day we prepared the cells for electroporation, transformed them and watched them grow. The protocol provided clear instructions and was very easy to understand. (Appendix: JMU_Wuerzburg.xlsx) But unfortunately, because of our electroporator, the cell-transformation failed. Luckily team Marburg was very supportive and sent us ready-transformed colonies of V. natriegens, so we could finish the InterLab study successfully.

After this little complication the rest of the laboratory work went very well. We made an overnight culture of ready-transformed colonies and measured absorption and fluorescence of the transformed cells (Appendix: Interlabstudy Marbug Plate Reader.xlsx), following the protocol. After sending our data over to team Marburg our collaboration was completed successfully. During the whole InterLab study communication via Facebook and E-Mail was always very pleasant and purposeful. Team Marburg used to ask about our accomplishments in the lab and replied quickly when there were any problems at any time. All in all, carrying out the growth curve experiment with iGEM team Marburg and being able to work with V. natriegens for the first time was both intriguing and exciting for us.
List of References
1 (12.10.2018)
Protocol Vibrigens Interlab.pdf
Interlabstudy Marbug Plate Reader.xlsx
JMU Wuerzburg.xlsx