Locusts have been an obstacle to human cultivation throughout history. Even this year, locust plague spread across wide regions in Africa, being the main source of losses of million acres of crops and financial losses. Worse still, it has triggered detrimental influences on social life, politics, and military affairs. By January, Kenya was experiencing its worst infestation that people have been suffering in 70 years; by June, over 13 million people in Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia experienced "severe acute food insecurity", according to the FAO, and some believe that these infestations are caused by human activity. Such a large number of locusts has caused a library of discussion among people, including us. Given this, some solutions have to be come up with. The ever more serious situation inspired us to develop a biological pesticide.

But how to produce such pesticides that are both bio-degradable and highly effective? We shifted our attention to a specific protein: Bacillus thuringiensis, a crystal toxin protein targeting arthropods that are popular as a biological pesticide in the world. BT is safe, despite a widely held belief that the safety of Bt has not been verified.

But how does this apply to synthetic biology? How can we improve the effectiveness of the pesticides? Our inspiration came from a project: using chitinase to combat black scurf, a fungal disease (Rhizoctonia solani) which damages early potato shoots in cold, wet soils. After having a conversation with prof. Hongchang Zhou, a prototype of this idea arose in our minds, that is, to produce a pesticide that can self-degrade and self-lyse, mainly by combining BT toxin and chitinase using E. coli. As a high school team committed to the Synthetic Biology, we always want to try our uttermost to realize our goal; at first, our progress was slow, as we had little idea on “throwing” toxin out of E. coli. It is the head of biology in our school, Mr. Lin gave us advice on this problem: adding a UV induced suicide system, which is also a significant turnaround that was undergoing in the prototype of our experimental idea.

The Team Collaboration Special thanks Contribution Description Design Model Result Basic Composite Implementation Awards Judging Form Education Integrated HP Experiment Safety Lab Notebook Close About Us The Project Parts Judging Human Practices Lab