Team:NTHU Taiwan

NTHU Taiwan


A novel way to solve pine wilt disease


Pine wilt disease is caused by a specific nematode--Bursaphelenchus xylophilus. This kind of nematode appears in North America, Europe, and East Asia. Many Pine trees are now facing this hazard. According to statistics, B. xylophilus has caused more than 5,000 hectares of pine forests to die and over 20 million US dollars economic losses in Taiwan. Moreover, the deaths of pine trees also caused huge damages to our forests. The nematodes are harmful to various tree species and can spread quickly. Many countries have been affected by B. xylophilus, but no effective method has been found to prevent pine wilt diseases so far.


We aim to generate a new kind of pine tree which can synthesize siRNA that encodes important gene information to B. xylophilus, such as target genes related to its reproduction and pathogenicity. As soon as the nematodes uptake plant cells, siRNA generated by pine trees will destroy genes that significantly affect the survival rates of nematodes.


Agrobacterium tumefaciens is a kind of bacterium that can infect plant cells and transfer a particular sequence of their DNA to the plant cells. By transferring the particular gene fragment into plant cells, the cells get the ability to generate siRNA, which is our weapon to degrade the genes of nematodes. As soon as the nematodes uptake plant cells, siRNA travels into their intestine system, which then diffuses into their whole body. Eventually, RNAi plays their role, depressing the reproduction and pathogenicity abilities of B. xylophilus.

more about us

Promotion Video
Learn More About Compine
  • Description

    We introduce the problem we want to solve and the solution we came up with on this page.

  • Design

    How we choose our target genes and how our project works. The basic concepts of our project can be found on this page.

  • Contribution

    We created a new board game about synthetic biology. What’s more, we also have a podcast: The Road of iGEM this year. Go to the page and find out how we did it!

  • Future work

    Due to COVID-19, we couldn’t finish our project. But we have already set up goals that we will accomplish after the competition.

  • Engineering Success

    We have successfully completed the process of cloning and model, and we are glad to say that the nematode and callus we cultured seemed to be growing well, too.

  • Proposed Implementation

    We hope our project can be applied to other kinds of plant diseases.

Staus At Present
  • 5,000 hectares of forest

  • 20 million $ economic losses

  • Harmful to most species of pinus

  • No efficient solution


  • Give us a call: +886 03 571 5131
  • Send us a mail:
  • Come visit us: No. 101, Sec. 2, Guangfu Rd., East Dist., Hsinchu City , Taiwan (R.O.C.) our location