In iGEM, exchanging ideas with other teams plays a significant role in the project, and it brings us various new ideas. We established a deep relationship with team Kyoto as a partner in this year’s project. Our team and the Kyoto team have two things in common: both teams are trying to use Defensins in their projects; and many of the members have experiences of participating in JBO(Japan Biological Olympiad). Therefore, we held regular meetings and collaborated to share project contents and conduct various activities.


Partnership Timeline

  • Held a first meeting and feedback on both projects.
  • Started considering the possibility of collaboration.


  • Held a meeting to introduce iGEM to the IBO Japan team.


  • Made a joint slack channel and started exchanging ideas and information about projects.


  • Shared the information of each project and shaped the form of collaboration on the projects.

September, October

  • Began specific cooperation on projects and sharing the substances like DNA and produced products in experiments.


For a collaboration with another team, communication takes a significant role. We first used SNS, like LINE and Twitter for communication and exchanging information.
However, as the partnership activities progressed, it became necessary to share more information accurately and quickly. To fulfil the needs, we made a joint Slack workspace for both teams. We shared information on a sequence of gBlocks, for example.
Moreover, we held meetings regularly and shared the progress of each other and brought new perspectives to both projects.

The project of team Kyoto is below:

FLOWEREVER -A colorful palette of approaches for sustaining flower life-

Since time immemorial, flowers have been providing us with comfort and beauty on occasions ranging from mourning to celebration. While cut flowers are in high demand, they are ultimately treated as disposable products leading to large amounts of pre- and post-consumer waste. To make this intimate and essential relationship sustainable, iGEM Kyoto proposes a colorful palette of measures for each process from flower production to consumption. Accordingly, they attempted to kill pests with RNAi, and developed a virus detection device based on RT-LAMP and CRISPR-Cas12a. Alternative to chemicals, they suggest dsRNA and peptides to delay flower wilting. Notably, for more efficient syntheses of these eco-friendly materials, they also proposed a system using asymmetric plasmid partitioning.

For more details about their great project, please check the link below!!


Project cooperation summary


  • Exchanged the future possibility of collaboration in Hardware.
  • Shared the preliminary research results about defensin and other antimicrobial peptides.

From team UTokyo

  • Produced HBD3 (Human beta defensin 3) by using synthetic yeast and provided the supernatant to team Kyoto.
  • Our team will test the secretion of HBD1(Human beta defensin 1) by using the gene fragment from team Kyoto and share data in the future.

From team Kyoto

  • Provided the gene fragment of HBD1(Human beta defensin1) to team UTokyo.
  • Team Kyoto tested the antimicrobial property of our yeast supernatant and shared data.

This year, both teams aimed to inhibit bacterial growth by secreting antimicrobial peptides or purification as a part of their projects. However, it was not easy to research and assay the effects of various types of antimicrobial peptides in many conditions. Therefore, we exchanged information about antimicrobial peptides and shared produced materials like HBD3 and DNA. These collaborations contributed to the results of each other’s project.

Our team chose HBD3 (Human Beta Defensin3) as the antimicrobial peptide to be secreted by yeast. At the same time, we also considered using other types of defensin or antimicrobial substances. To research the possibilities, team Kyoto provided us with HBD1 DNA (gBlock). It turned out that this part can also be used as a future application in our project.
Team Kyoto had been conducting assays using various antimicrobial substances, including HBD1. To compare HBD3 with these substances, our team sent HBD3 which was secreted from yeast to be tested in the antimicrobial assay. They conducted a disk diffusion method to test the effects of our yeast supernatant (For more detail about the assay, please check Notebook.). Moreover, we exchange some information which we got in the preliminary research result, like the working mechanism of defensins and how to handle it.

As further cooperation, we presented the possibility of using cell fibers(the hardware used by our team this year) in the project of team Kyoto. For example, they can cultivate gene-modified bacteria in the fiber and secrete antimicrobial peptides or dsRNA. Due to a lack of working time, we could not specifically share how to make cell fibers this year, but we got feedback from team Kyoto that it is so useful and may improve their project’s possibilities.


Education cooperation summary

  • Planned an education meeting to promote synthetic biology to biology-loving high school students in Japan.
  • Introduced iGEM to the IBO Japan team.

We and iGEM Kyoto have one more thing in common: many of their members have participated in JBO(Japan Biological Olympiad) in the past. Taking advantage of this commonality, we introduced iGEM to the high school students who are candidates for the IBO Japan team, who will bear the future of biology and synthetic biology in Japan.
For more information, please visit the Education and Communication page.