We shared our HpaBC-DDC plasmid with SMS_Shenzhen, borrowed the TnaA-FMO plasmid from GreatBay_SZ 2019, held an online discussion session with OSA and JACOXH_China, and shared a lab with OSA and SZ-SHD. We also attended the virtual meetup held by CCiC in late August.
Team logos of our collaborators.
Partnership with SZU-China
We collaborated closely with SZU-China as partners. SZU-China studies bioproduction of pigments to dye jeans. We borrowed their gardenia blue to dye our hair and lent them bacteria with the TnaA-FMO plasmid to produce indigo. We also exchanged experience on details in the experiment, such as using DMSO to extract indigo from the fermented bacterial solution. More information can be found in partnership.
Sharing our plasmid with SMS_Shenzhen
SMS_Shenzhen looks at engineering E. coli to produce L-DOPA and using it as a treatment for Parkinson's Disease. They met some problems using their designed HpaBC plasmid, which is supposed to turn tyrosine into L-DOPA. Knowing that this is part of the metabolic pathway of our dopamine plasmid (HpaBC-DDC), they borrowed our dopamine plasmid to test with our HpaBC fragment.
Map of the HpaBC-DDC plasmid we lent to SMS_Shenzhen.
Sharing a lab with SZ-SHD and OSA
As the most experienced in lab work among the three, members of SZ-SHD gave us a lot of tips for different experiments and some fundamental lab procedures. For example, when we performed protein electrophoresis, which no one from our team had done before, Yingjie from SZ-SHD told us several instrumental tips, such as loading our samples and separating the gel from the cast.
Throughout the experimental stage, we shared plates, culture medium, sterilized shaking tubes, among others. We also worked out a schedule that was the best for all three teams, especially for larger equipment such as the sterilization pot and the spectrophotometer. We have become excellent friends with each other and have enjoyed this experience.
Discussion with OSA and JACOXH_China
JACOXH_China (left) and OSA (right) presenting their projects.
GreatBay_SZ (iGEM 2019)
When we were expressing the TnaA-FMO plasmid, we did not successfully produce indigo, but acquired an orange color (which we suspected was leucoindigo but couldn't find an explanation). After multiple trial with E. coli BL21 and V. natriegens, we asked GreatBay_SZ 2019 whether they had their TnaA-FMO plasmid from last year and got a positive response. We therefore borrowed their plasmid. Although we later on figured out that it was the problem with the bacterial strain and E. coli DH5α was able to produce indigo, we sincerely thank the help from GreatBay_SZ 2019 (including, but not limited to, several instructors and members who are participating this year as well).
The map of the TnaA-FMO plasmid from GreatBay_SZ 2019. We successfully produced indigo in DH5α with their plasmid.
In late August, we participated in the 7th CCiC (Conference of China iGEMer Community) meetup titled "from Lab to Fab." We presented our project and got feedback from other teams, the host, as well as judges. Most of them appreciated our project and human practices work, but we were told to present the content in a more engaging manner.
Through these collaborations, we were able to improve our project, acquire more necessary skills, and make lasting friendships. We sincerely thank our partners and collaborators.