Partnership - IGEM IONIS
In May, during the lockdown, the Indian team IISER Tirupati communicated on the fact they were working on antimicrobial resistance (AMR). We contacted them to first, set up a conference call, to talk about both of our projects to see if a partnership could be possible.
The idea was to help each other out throughout the competition on a scientific point of view (as we were both working on projects linked to AMR), and in any other way possible (communicating on our projects, fundraising, advice etc.).
The IISER Tirupati team’s project, called Coli Kaze, tackles AMR in a different way compared to BacTail. Their aim is to engineer bacteria to render them capable of degrading the antibiotics (Sulfonamides) found in the excreta of chicken and turkey. Once the mission accomplished, the goal is to program the death of the chassis whose lysis would be induced by arabinose.
Since April, The IISER Tirupati team had doubts about getting into the lab until the end of the iGEM competition due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Thanks to our calls and project presentations, we were aware that part of their project was to develop a kill switch in order to kill their chassis at the end of the antibiotic degradation.
Since our team was also interested in using a kill switch that would be activated
when our chassis had accomplished its mission of killing the target pathogen (cf.phase 3) , we started talking about a potential partnership on this point especially.
We agreed on the following partnership: the IISER Tirupati team would design the theoretical part of the kill switch (cf.BioBricks) and in exchange our team would do the wet lab experiments for them. In order to accomplish this partnership, we had dozens of zoom calls with their team to exchange on our projects.
Numerous calls with Team IISER Tirupati were first dedicated to planning and preparing the implementation of their experiments in our lab. These were especially done with Omkar.
To start, both of our teams had to agree on the experiments that should and could be run, considering the available equipment. Next, our lab team proceeded to writing up the protocols and listing of every single item and consumable needed:
We then began to run the experiments beginning of September, with daily calls to keep Team IISER Tirupati advised on the current status of the experiments but also exchange on the results, possible problems, trouble-shoot and get advice from them. In addition to that, weekly follow-up documents were written by us and sent to them so they could keep summaries of the workflow and track the progress.
Link for the wet-lab results for the experiments conducted during this partnership