We have learned that in 2020, iGEM teams in many countries and regions were affected by the epidemic, their project and collaboration with other iGEM teams have been greatly hindered. Therefore, in the post-epidemic era that the COVID-19 epidemic is less severe than 2020, we want to seize all the opportunities to communicate with other iGEM teams. Thus, at the beginning of Jiangnan_China's establishment, we hosted China iGEM Online Meetup, hoping to provide a communication & collaboration platform for all iGEM teams of China at the early stage of the schedule and promote our projects. Since then, we have also actively joined Yeast Alliance, participated in many Meetups, as well as attended the CCiC8 (the 8th Conference of China iGEMers Community) held in late August.
In the process, we exchanged ideas with other teams and made progress together.
The original intention of 2021 China iGEM Online Meetup (Fig.1) is that China has a vast territory, a large number of colleges and universities, a large number of iGEM teams, and a wide geographical distribution. In the process of collaboration, teams usually only hold some small-scale meetup which could be regarded as limited and insufficient, and regional meetings are difficult to break through regional restrictions. What's more, CCiC (Conference of China iGEMer Community) is usually held at the end of August, so it is difficult to build a partnership through it. That's why we want to hold an online meetup online at the end of May. At the same time, in order to encourage more teams to join, we got in touch with three other teams located in different regions of China and invited them to hold a meeting with us.
Fig.1 Poster of 2021 China iGEM Online Meetup
1. Liaison & Planning (26th April – 28th May)
26th April Idea formation, LZU-CHINA became a co-organizer.
27th April Jilin_China became a co-organizer.
30th April SZU-China became the last co-organizer, the meetup entering the preparatory stage.
3rd May Co-organizers held the first online meeting, confirming the division of respective tasks, and then the name and the holding time of China iGEM Online Meetup was finalized.
8th May Contacted the CCiC executive committee. Secretary-General Jionglin Chen joined the co-organization chat for discussion.
13rd May CCiC Executive Committee joined the meetup as a guidance unit; Jiangnan_China sent a pre-meeting tweet.
24th May The four host teams negotiated to determine the meeting agenda and the time slot for their respective responsibilities; at the same time, Jiangnan_China sent a formal meeting notification tweet, which was forwarded to their official accounts by the other three teams and the CCiC community.
28th May All the slides required was completed; a short meeting was held to explain the matters needing attention; the information of the meetup is posted on the official website of iGEM.
2. Sponsorship (22nd May – 27th May)
22nd May Jiangnan_China completed the preparation of the 2021 China iGEM Online Meetup investment proposal.
26th May Ailurus Biotech (Fig.2) became the sponsor of the meetup.
27th May Biosysen (Fig.3) became the sponsor of the meetup.
Fig.2&3 Logo of Ailurus Biotech and Biosysen
3. Artistic Design (10th May – 29th May)
10th May Begin to discuss the souvenir and conference logo design.
19th May Meetup logo (Fig.4) drawing completed together by 4 co-organizers.
24th May Jiangnan_China completed the the poster of meetup (Fig.5).
20th May - 29th May Meeting souvenirs (Fig.6) are gradually completed design.
Fig.5 Poster Of Meetup
Fig.4&6 Meetup Logo & All Sourvenirs
(Canvas Bag Designed From LZU-CHINA; Card Cover From SZU-China; Desk Calendar From Jinlin_China; Badge From Jiangnan_China)
4. Meetup (29th May – 30th May)
The meeting was held as planned and ended successfully. (Fig.7)
A total of 42 teams attended the meeting, of which 28 participated in the project presentation. We divided four themes according to the project introduction submitted by every team, namely Manufacturing, Health, Environment, Detection & Other.
Fig.7 The Agenda Of 2021 China iGEM Online Meetup
5. After Meetup (30th May – 15th June)
30th May All souvenirs have been ordered.
1st June – 3rd June Tweets for the meeting review was sent respectively.
7th June Complete the arrangement of the meeting brochure.
13rd June – 15th June Jiangnan_China sent the meeting brochure to all the attendees by e-mail and sent all the meeting souvenirs separately.
Video.1 The Commemorative Relay Video
When discussing the souvenir design, the idea of shooting a commemorative relay video of the meetup was welcomed. In the video, we show our souvenirs, the scene of the meetup and the connection between our four co-organized teams. We hope to convey our sincere feelings for this meetup and the good expectations for the future through this video.
Last year, Jiangnan_China team successfully hosted online East China iGEM Meetup, and felt deeply about the importance of communication between iGEM teams, which is one of the important reasons why we want to organize large-scale meetup this year. There is no doubt that this also provides valuable experience for the successful holding of online meetup this year.
However, the organization of large-scale meetup is difficult to achieve alone, so we thought of finding other teams to cooperate, that is, the subsequent contact with LZU-CHINA, SZU-China and Jilin_China. In the process of promoting joint matters with these three teams, no matter whether there are things to be discussed or tasks to be completed, everyone has shown a high degree of enthusiasm and cooperation, so we always have a harmonious atmosphere with each other and our friendship has developed.
With the joint efforts of four teams, a total of 42 teams were present on our meetup, of which 28 participated in the project demonstration. In addition, we also invited Dr. Guo Haotian, CEO of Ailurus Biotech, and Chen Jionglin, Secretary General of the Executive Committee of CCiC, to speak as guests. During the Meetup period, the team sharing was in full swing, and the questions after each project sharing were also very enthusiastic. We exchanged ideas from various angles, and the sparkle of novel ideas could always be seen.
In addition, the Executive Committee of CCiC, as the guidance unit of China iGEM Online Meetup, expressed its intention to take it as a long-term activity and carry out it in the corresponding period of time in the early stage of iGEM each year, with the aim of providing Chinese iGEMers with a platform for communication and cooperation and looking for partners. We are gratified to be able to help so many teams.
On the afternoon of 14th August, we attended the Manufacturing Teams Meetup hosted by BNU-China. At the beginning of the conference, Professor Xudong Zhu, the instructor of BNU-China, described his iGEM experience to us (Fig.8), and hoped that we would explore more about the industrial application of synthetic biology. We shared our project background about the current coral situation and related work in Human Practices. After our introduction, we answered the questions of other participants in detail and conducted a more in-depth discussion (Fig.9).
Fig.8 Prof. Zhu Was Sharing
Fig.9 The Photo Of Manufacturing Meetup
At the China iGEM Online Meetup on 29th May, we were invited by UESTC-China to become a member of Yeast Alliance. Encouragingly, thanks to the 2021 China iGEM Online Meetup hosted by our team and other three teams, the Yeast Alliance was known by more teams, and the number of its members increased accordingly.
After that, we often share the molecular knowledge, fermentation experience and experimental experience related to yeast in the alliance, solve experimental puzzles with and promote the progress of each other's projects. After three months of friendly communication, we participated in the Yeast Meetup held on 22nd August, and discussed with other teams the feasibility of the future sustainable development of the alliance and the key points we need to pay attention to (Fig.10). We hope that this alliance can continue to develop and provide technical guidance for future iGEM teams using yeast as chassis by continuously summarizing our experimental experience.
Fig.10 The Photo Of Yeast Alliance Meetup
From 27th August to 28th August, we participated in the 8th CCiC (Conference of China iGEMer Community) hosted by Fudan, which is a synthetic biology event independently initiated by Chinese iGEM teams. It is an important platform for all participating teams to communicate, cooperate, demonstrate and learn. During the meeting, we introduced our initial investigation of the project, the experimental design, and the progress made in the HP work before the conference in the form of an online report. At the same time, we also actively listened to the project results of the participating teams and benefited a lot. After the end of the report, NWU-CHINA-B, iBowu-China, IvyMaker-China, Tsinghua and other teams asked and communicated with us about the content of the report. In addition, the 8th CCiC also set up the best presentation award. Through one team one vote voting, we were first selected as finalist from our section, and then won the Best Presentation Award together with Tsinghua and Fudan. This unexpected honor reflects the recognition of Chinese iGEM team for our project, and we are greatly encouraged (Fig.11).
Fig.11 Best Presentation Finalists
At first, we planned to construct the xylose pathway on the YEP351 plasmid, and we wanted to use Leu screening markers to screen the transformants, but our lab lacked the relevant plasmids, so we asked other teams for help. Then we received the YEP351 plasmid given by GA State SW jiaotong, the plasmid with LEU screening markers given by SCU-China.