Our team decided to use non-pathogenic chassis, E. coli DH5α and Saccharomyces cerevisiae EBY100, to be transformed and produce non harmful products.
In order to properly assess the function of our project and device, we would need to show that a signal is produced in the presence of Pgt. However, after consulting the Office of Biological Safety, we decided we would be unable to use Pgt since a BSL3 lab is needed, and even in those conditions, the fungus would still pose a threat to the large amount of wheat crops grown in the St. Louis area. We substituted Pgt with the specific substances in Pgt, which are non harmful, in our proof-of-concept experimental design. In the detection portion of our project, we used ribitol, which is found in the infectious hyphae of Pgt, and in the profiling portion, we synthesized the avirulence factors, which are secreted by Pgt and recognized by resistance genes, in yeast.
Every member on our team has completed both online and in-lab safety training. Common safety practices used daily in lab include gloves, lab coats, safety goggles, closed toed shoes, long pants, and the use of materials in a biosafety hood.