Team:KU Leuven/Project/StickerSystem/Design



Secret garden

Congratulations! You've found our secret garden! Follow the instructions below and win a great prize at the World jamboree!

  • A video shows that two of our team members are having great fun at our favourite company. Do you know the name of the second member that appears in the video?
  • For one of our models we had to do very extensive computations. To prevent our own computers from overheating and to keep the temperature in our iGEM room at a normal level, we used a supercomputer. Which centre maintains this supercomputer? (Dutch abbreviation)
  • We organised a symposium with a debate, some seminars and 2 iGEM project presentations. An iGEM team came all the way from the Netherlands to present their project. What is the name of their city?

Now put all of these in this URL:, (loose the brackets and put everything in lowercase) and follow the very last instruction to get your special jamboree prize!

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Drylab integrating into wetlab

The original way of administering our BanAphids to plants, via a spraying system, is perfectly suited for our end-users, the farmers. However, some of them felt that the direct use of bacteria on crops would scare off consumers. Also, regulations do not allow the spreading of genetically modified organisms in the environment. That's why we came up with a way to keep the BanAphids in a container, a small bag or sticker. However, if our BanAphids are held in a contained environment, the direct contact between bacteria and aphids is lost, as well as the honeydew cue for the production of methyl salicylate. Because of this, an oscillating pheromone production is needed, to prevent aphid habituation to β-farnesene and overburdening of the plant's metabolism by methyl salicylate.


The sticker we used is courtesy of the 2012 Groningen iGEM team, as a part of their "Food Warden" project. The polymethylpentene sticker has pores in it with a radius of 1 to 10 nm, large enough for the exchange of volatiles, but small enough to keep bacteria inside. It can be easily attached or stuck on a plant (see picture). For more information on the sticker, click here .


As a result of keeping the BanAphids in a container, the direct contact between bacteria and aphids is lost, and hereby the honeydew cue. If we were to use our honeydew system, β-farnesene would be constitutively expressed because of the lack of glucose, which makes the BanAphids switch from the production of β-farnesene to methyl salicylate. However, after a certain time aphids get habituated to the β-farnesene signal, rendering our sticker useless. Constitutive expression of methyl salicylate isn't an option either, since constant activation of plant defence systems would put a burden on the plant, thus reducing crop yields. As a solution to this, we came up with an oscillator that switches between the production of β-farnesene and methyl salicylate through time. On the oscillator page, we elaborate further on the design, genes and wetlab results of the oscillator.