This year FAFU-CHINA team has siginificantly collaborated with other universities in various ways, including lab troubleshooting, modeling, functional verification and so on.

Lab troubleshooting

There are loads of teams using Bacillus megaterium and Bacillus subtilis as their chassis this year. So do we. Compared with E. coli and many gram-negative bacteria are transformed easily by pretreatment with divalent metal ions before the addition of plasmid DNA, it’s notoriously difficult to manage the condition of transformation for those lack of experience. Nature transformation of gram-positive bacteria is only know to occur among Bacillus subtilis and few species of Staptococcus. What the point is many protocols now in use must be painstakingly adjusted for individual strains to achieve satisfactory results. Actually, we were stuck into the transformation of our chssis as well, before we made it, a lot of blank vector control experiments were done to find out the best condtion, electroporation by adjusting all walks of parameters. It took us so long time, finally we made it by protoplasting and the we helped SCU-WestChina and WHU-China. For more information about protocol, pleas click here.

WHU-CHINA also helped us to measure the organic acid secreted fromour hyperaccumulator qualitatively HPLC. Thanks a lot.


Based on the data and information we provided, BNU-China helped us to construct a PSB-assisted phytoremediation dynamic system mathematical model for the implementation. The whole system was separated by three main processes——the phytoremediation process, the organic ptoduction process and the bingding of heavy metal ion with MBP secreted by modified Bacillus megaterium. The effect factors of the system are complex under lab condition not mention to physical circumstances which refers to the soil properties, the concentration of heavy metal ions, the population and equilibrium of bacteria, the degradation rate of protein and a series of chemical reaction. Although in this case, BNU-China helped us predict the feasibility of our project in almost perfect way. And according to the positive feedback done by them, our projected is worthy of further analysis and efforts in experiment and implementation. Thank you very much.

As the increasing addition of our engineered PSB, the population in soil could be seen soaring at the very beginning of stage in few hours. When it reaches at the peak of growth curve, the vitality of our chassis are in a steady increasing status that could be showed in the first row and right pic that the secretion of organic acid. At the same time, the concentration of binding metal proteins rise significantly from 0 to 20h. All in all, the last pic shows stable decline of heavy metal ions in the soil, that means the heavy metal ion could be extracted by our hyperaccumulator.

We collaborated with BNU-China, their project focuses on improving the yeast surface display system this year. We helped them transfer PYD1-α and PYCα-β-mGFP into EBY100 and INVSc1 respectively. Then we obtained the monoclonal cultures and sequenced some of the yeasts. As a result, we sent them the two kinds of vectors they need.

Functional verification

Through voice conference with XMU-China, we got to know their problems appearing in the experimental stage about T7 amplified system. And we positive solution feedbacks based on our original T7 system design. Finally, our two teams established collaboration that we would help them test the formaldehyde promoter and T7 amplification system.

At the same time, XMU-China actively helped us to take the test of heavy metal content of chemical fertilizers with icp when our icp experiment in trouble.

To create a biosensor that detects the ammonia in water at low concentrations, UCAS constructed a circuit containing a fluoresce reporter, a nitrogen-sensitive promoter together with its regulatory sequences. We help UCAS to test that after adding casamino acid whether the system could give a valid feedback.

Biosafety education video in Chinese

Biosafety is one of the most important issues everyone should be aware of before starting any biology related experiments. However, the biosafety education in China is far behind the fast development of modern biological research. In some places, students are not trained properly because of the outdated education material or the language barrier that prevent them from reading biosafety guidelines written in English.

We’ve participated in an intercollegiate collaborating project to produce a series of biosafety education movies, all in Chinese. This video collection has been uploaded online and is freely available at our homepage on YouTube and Bilibili, a popular Chinese video-sharing website.

Teams participated the production:

Many students don’t pay attention to the laboratory safety rules in china . In order to help more students understand the importance of biosafety, We teamed up with another 10 colleges and universities to produce a series of propaganda films .

Here is the trailer

Construct an alliance to build a worldwide database

Continued worldwide industrialization has caused extensive environmental and human health problems. A wide variety of chemicals, e.g., heavy metals, pesticides, chlorinated solvents, etc., have been detected in different natural resources such as soil, water, and air. Among the pollutants, the heavy metals are of concern to human health due to their cytotoxicity, mutagenicity, and carcinogenicity.

Under this circumstance, Tianjin Team came up with the idea that we could gather all the iGEM teams whose projects were about water pollution treatment and build an alliance to unite all information and data concerning the social impact, knowledge and geographical advantages they collected during the conduction of their project.

On 12th of August, we had a voice conferencing with Tianjin/SJTU/SCUT/XMU/UCAS/JLU. During which we discussed about how we want to use this alliance, and the discussion led to 2 conclusions:

1. Build a worldwide database for the contents of heavy metals in local soil.

2. Mutually promote the social impact of each parties in this alliance.