Basic Safety Questions for iGEM 2013

1. Please describe the chassis organism(s) you will be using for this project. If you will be using more than one chassis organism, provide information on each of them:


Strain no/name

Risk Group

Risk group source link

Disease risk to humans? If so, which disease?

E. coli



Yes. May cause eye and skin irritation with susceptible persons. May be harmful by inhalation. May be harmful if swallowed.

E. coli



Yes. May cause irritation to skin, eyes, and respiratory tract. May affect kidneys.

E. coli

E. colni™



2. Highest Risk Group Listed: 1

3. List and describe all new or modified coding regions you will be using in your project.

Part number.

Where did you get the physical DNA for this part (which lab,

synthesis company, etc)

What species does this part originally come from?

What is the Risk Group of the species?

What is the function of this part, in its parent species?


PCR amplification and site directed mutagenesis

E. coli K12





Acropora millepora


Blue pigment

4. Do the biological materials used in your lab work pose any of the following risks? Please describe.

a. Risks to the safety and health of team members or others working in the lab?

All works are carried out following standard BSL-1 practice in BSL-1 facilities.

b. Risks to the safety and health of the general public, if released by design or by accident?

Access to laboratory facilities and project materials are restricted to team members only. There is no planned release of engineered microorganisms. All bacterial strains used in this current project are not considered pathogenic and do not cause diseases in healthy adults.

c. Risks to the environment, if released by design or by accident?

There is no planned release of engineered microorganisms to the environment in this current project. All bacterial strains used are either laboratory strains that do not survive outside of laboratory environment or are wild type bacterial that normally present in the environment.

d. Risks to security through malicious misuse by individuals, groups, or countries?

All biological agents utilized in this current project are not on the Selection Agent list and do not pose any biosecurity threats.

5. If your project moved from a small-scale lab study to become widely used as a commercial/industrial product, what new risks might arise?

The current biological constructs do not pose risks and there is no scale-up plan in this current project. However, the risks associated with large-scale production of the biological constructs will be assessed when such plan for commercialization arises.

6. Does your project include any design features to address safety risks? (For example: kill switches, auxotrophic chassis, etc.) Note that including such features is not mandatory to participate in iGEM, but many groups choose to include them.

The current project is in the proof-of-concept stage. Kill switches and/or auxotrophic chassis will be included in future design.

7. What safety training have you received (or plan to receive in the future)? Provide a brief description, and a link to your institution’s safety training requirements, if available.

All iGEM members are required to complete training modules located at and before working in the laboratory.

8. Under what biosafety provisions will / do you work?

a. Please provide a link to your institution biosafety guidelines.

All works are carried out following Clemson University's chemical hygiene plan and biosafety guidelines overseen by Environmental Health and Safety,, and Institutional Biosafety Committee,

b. Does your institution have an Institutional Biosafety Committee, or an equivalent group? If yes, have you discussed your project with them? Describe any concerns they raised with your project, and any changes you made to your project plan based on their review.

The primary instructor of Clemson iGEM team is a member of the IBC and is in constant communication with members of the committee. No concerns have been raised regarding this current project.

c. Does your country have national biosafety regulations or guidelines? If so, please provide a link to these regulations or guidelines if possible.

The relevant national biosafety regulations and policies are listed on

d. According to the WHO Biosafety Manual, what is the BioSafety Level rating of your lab? (Check the summary table on page 3, and the fuller description that starts on page 9.) If your lab does not fit neatly into category 1, 2, 3, or 4, please describe its safety features [see for help].

All research activities related to current project are carried out in BSL-1 rated laboratory spaces even though some of the iGEM members have clearance for access to BSL-2 rated laboratory spaces located in the same Life Sciences Facility.

e. What is the Risk Group of your chassis organism(s), as you stated in question 1? If it does not match the BSL rating of your laboratory, please explain what additional safety measures you are taking.

Only RG-1 microorganisms are utilized in the current project.