During the process of our project, we attended CCiC and communicated with other teams which aim at managing locust. We heard the presentation of TPR-China and found their project is trying to synthesize 4VA, a pheromone which can aggregate locusts, and kill the locusts together. We had a heated discussion about the collaboration between us.
As we are tying to kill locusts in RNAi technology and TPR is also trying to find a more efficient way to kill the locusts, we came up with an idea that combining our Metarhizium acridums with their product 4VA. For our team, 4VA could attract locusts to the regions that the farmers have already sprayed the biopesticide, this would help us killing locust faster than before. On the other hand, TPR-China could use biopesticide to kill locusts and for those locusts which are infected by M. acridums would spread the spore to the whole population of locust. This would help farmer from more loss of crops.
Furthermore, to achieve the goal that locusts can be infected by the M. acridums. We drew a blue print of the hardware: locust killer.
As locust is attracted by the 4VA which is in the bottom container, locust would squeeze into the locust killer. In order to get infected by M.acridums, we leave a small hole for locust to fly out. Our engineered M.acridums will be located at the surrounding of the hole. The M.acridums will be floated in the cottonseed oil which can fix to locust body when the locust pass to it.
In the continuous fermentation module, two buttons and two peristaltic pumps were set to form two control group. One group is responsible for pumping out part of the fermented product and pumping some medium in for supplementation, while the other group is used to pump out a little part of the liquid for sampling, which could be convenient for detecting the number of yeast and the concentration of dsRNA in the cell.
Additionally, we wanted to have further cooperation with TPR-China in the experiment testing of 4VA and Human Practice. However, considering with the pandemic and the process of the experiment, we could hardly have an offline activity and the test. We’ll do further research and deeper collaboration as our project goes on.