We received the Bronze Medal at this years Jamboree!

Dalhousie’s iGEM team has sufficiently met all of the criteria to achieve gold this year. First, to achieve bronze status, we have completed all necessary paperwork, and intend on sending nine members to the iGEM jamboree. We also have completed all deliverables, including a wiki with proper attribution page, safety forms, and have prepared a twenty-minute presentation for the jamboree. Finally, we participated in an inter-lab study which compared the expression of a GFP between promoters.

Next to achieve silver, we have successfully characterized one of our biobricks: beta-xylanase. This novel beta-xylanase from the microbiome of the porcupine that has never before been sequenced was successfully shown to be able to be expressed in the pET26b(+) expression system in BL21 DE3 E. coli via a Coomassie Blue total protein stain. Taking a step further, we also sought to characterize the enzymatic activity of the protein via cleavage of its substrate conjugated to a fluorophore. As the fluorophore was released we were able to calculate relative light units given off compared to empty vector. We found that the protein was not able to cleave under the experimental conditions, most likely due to the protein being designed for an anaerobic environment while the experiment was conducted in an aerobic environment, possibly affecting protein folding or function. Collaborations were done with several other teams, including University of Waterloo, University of Toronto and University of Calgary. With Waterloo, we provided our cloning expertise and assisted in designing primers, in exchange, they trained our members in metagenomic library construction. With Toronto, we provided information about our team for their podcast, in exchange they filled out our questionnaire on science communication. With Calgary, we summarised our work for their newsletter, while they provided a platform for Canadian iGEM teams to explain their projects. For our human practices, we interviewed many experts on science communication and enticing industries to adopt our technology.

To achieve gold, we decided to integrate our human practices and improve a part from a previous project. To integrate our human practices, we incorporated what we have learned from experts into our current plan to make a product that appeals to industries. We have improved the endoglucanase biobrick that was submitted by our team last year by adding a N terminal PelB leader sequence for periplasmic localization and C terminal His tag for detecting protein expression via a western blot.

Award Description
Bronze Metal Criteria
1 Register and Attend
2 Deliverables
3 Attributions click here
4 Participated in Interlab click here
Silver Metal Criteria
1 Validated Part click here
2 Collaboration click here
3 Human Practices click here
Gold Metal Criteria
1 Integrated Human Practices click here
2 Improve a previous part click here