In order to exchange technology and improve projects, our United_Shanghai_HS team and ASTWS-China team held an exchange meeting on the Internet through video on September 11, 2021. The guests present are the core members of the two teams.
First of all, Xiang Ruixi from the United_Shanghai_HS team introduced the background of our project, experimental design, and problems encountered to the participants. Then, our instructor Li Zexuan supplemented Xiang Ruixi. After listening to their explanation, the friends asked many questions.
About the experiment:
Student Wang Jiahui of ASTWS first asked us whether the experiment was in progress. We said: Due to the epidemic, the school does not allow students to enter the laboratory. In addition, the iGEM Organizing Committee has no requirements for implementing experiments. Our experimental part is mainly replaced by experimental design. Some gene sequence searches, including some primer designs, simple experimental procedures, etc. will be displayed in the form of a flow chart. However, this does not mean that we do not experiment. We have also applied for laboratory and project funding and are ready to do this experiment. We will try our best to come up with a complete experimental plan before the game.
Student Wang Jiahui proposed a project on PET degradation. There were many cases in the past. She was curious about what improvements we have made compared to others. Our team has indeed checked the information, and there have been "similar" projects in previous years. For example: PETase was separated from I.sakaiensis in 2016. MHETsae was also found in this kind of bacteria, and it was confirmed that it can be expressed in conjunction with PETase to further decompose PET. However, our project has been improved and optimized on the original basis. We hope to use the modified Bacillus subtilis (containing PETase and MHETSae) to initially degrade PET and accelerate the degradation of PET plastic in the landfill. At the same time, the activities of earthworms are used to improve the distribution of engineering bacteria and enzymes, and solve the difficulty of frequent mixing in the dump site. In addition, inserting GFP can track the distribution of engineering bacteria in the soil. At the same time, by detecting the fluorescence in the body or feces of the earthworms, check whether the engineered bacteria have been swallowed by the earthworms. In general, our design is more targeted and the functions are more comprehensive.
Our project may become a commercial product in the future. Student Wang Jiahui of ASTWS wants to know what the application scenarios and scope of this project are, and how to reduce costs. The application scenario of this project is the land contaminated by plastic. Users can be farmers and local environmental authorities.
We use the sustainable development of engineering bacteria to save subsequent expenses, although more money may be invested in the early stage. Because there is no very effective way to control plastic pollution in the soil, these plastics can cause damage to the soil and even the animal husbandry. People may need to spend a lot of money to solve this problem.
Next, as guests, we listened to the project of "Microplastics Treatment in Water" by Wang Jiahui from ASTWS. Our team members gave them valuable suggestions.