The University of Potsdam successfully took part in this year's iGEM competition for the first time since 2012 and was greatly supported by MaxSynBio in their adventure. iGEM is an international Synbio competition with over 300 teams from all over the world competing every year. Each team has to manage their own personal research project with the bigger goal being to expand the registry of parts. Each team sends in genetic parts in BioBrick format to contribute to the registry so that the next teams are able to build new parts from the older ones.
The team focused on metabolic channelling, a phenomenon where the output of a specific reaction is increased by putting the enzymes closer together. They tried to recreate this mechanism synthetically via two different mechanisms. In the first approach, they tried to fixate the enzymes on DNA via dCas9 binding to specific scaffold DNA and in the second they encapsulated the enzymes in membraneless organelles (similar to the ones used in the MaxSynBio project at the MPI-KG).
In November, the team was able to fly to Boston to present their project and especially the promovideo for their crowdfunding campaign was very well recevied. Sadly, their efforts weren't rewarded with a medal but the teamis very thankful for this opportunity and seeks to build upon these experiences that they have gathered so early in their career.
This year's team was supervised by Prof. Bernd Müller-Röber andProf. Salim Seyfried of the University of Potsdam with several Postdocs from the Max-Planck Institutes for Molecular Plant Physiology and for Colloid and Interfaces helping, too. Dr. Roland Knorr of the MPI-KG was the main link between the team and MaxSynBio and helped with coordinating the sponsorship.
The website of iGEM Potsdam 2017 can be viewed here: http://2017.igem.org/Team:Potsdam
The promovideo can be watched under this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKa2WAsErwA