Team:Austin UTexas


Fighting ocean pollutants with phage engineering and synthetic biology

 For the 2021 iGEM competition, the UT Austin Team chose to tackle the global issue of ocean pollutants due to oil spills and plastic pollution. Eager to address this imminent issue, the team designed a novel solution using synthetic biology to engineer a phage delivery system. The system would allow the bacteriophage, P1, to deliver oil emulsification and plastic degradation genes to areas of oil spills or high plastic build up. Click the button below to learn more about our project.

Meet Ollie the OCTOphage

 Ollie has a passion for venturing through rough and dirty waters to fight pollution with his powers of plastic degradation and oil emulsification! When he encounters evil particles of plastic or slimy droplets of oil that harass his fish friends, he builds an army of brave marine bacteria soldiers. To help them join in the fight, he gifts them his powers and together they defeat the pollution and save the ocean once again! Come join Ollie's mission and learn about how he first got his ocean-cleaning powers!



After performing various experiments such as SEM, HPLC, and an oil spreading assay, we recorded our results on the following page. For more information about the experiments and the results, click the corresponding buttons below.

Featured Medals

Team Collaboration

Trouble shooting PETase purification with Team UIUC Illinois

Proposed Implementation

Proposing a real-world method to apply our solution

Computational Modeling

Modeling enzyme kinetics and phage population dynamics

(Integrated) Human Practices

Engaging in environmental activism with experts in the field

Education and Communication

We introduced our project and its concepts to an audience of students and young adults on Instagram. Utilizing graphics and a Q&A post, we engaged with our audience and aimed to answer any questions they may have had.