Progress Indicator Animation
Troygenics - the platform system we developed during our project - are applicable in a broad range of scenarios ranging from environmental/agricultural issues to medical applications. Due to the short timeframe of an iGEM project, we only demonstrated the potential of our Troygenics in the model organism S. cerevisiae. Nevertheless, our proof of concept opens the door for numerous real world applications.
We performed comprehensive assessments of application scenarios and received very positive feedback from various stakeholders who considered our Troygenics an extremely promising approach.


After demonstrating the functionality of all components in isolation (see results), we finally assembled complete Troygenics. Firstly, S. cerevisiae-specific Troygenics that present mating factor alpha on their coat, produce sfGFP, and carry TRP1, a marker gene for tryptophane-auxotrophic yeast strains, were produced. We purified the Troygenics after production and successfully performed initial transformation experiments.
Next steps could be the optimization of transformation conditions of our Troygenics to improve the transformation rate. Finding the ideal concentration of Troygenics is crucial for efficient transformation of the target cells. Additionally, further evaluation of the specificity of our Troygenics is necessary. A comparison of the transformation efficiency in the target cell and a closely related non-target cell could reveal the transformation specificity.

Applications in agriculture, food and nutrition

Since we demonstrated the functionality of our Troygenics in the non-pathogenic model organisms S. cerevisiae and A. niger, our Troygenics can be adapted to fight several plant pathogenic fungi. Numerous experts have pointed out that pathogens like Phytophtera infestans, Puccinia graminis and Fusarium oxysporum pose a huge threat to the world’s food supply and considered our Troygenics an innovative solution.

Applications in environmental issues

Apart from fighting plant pathogenic fungi, Troygenics could emerge as a simplification of challenging task in the lab e.g. the transformation of fungi and other eukaryotes. There is a variety of possible applications ranging from creating new production strains in the industry to fighting eukaryotic pathogens in the environment. Not only do plant pathogenic fungi pose a dangerous threat, but so do those infecting animals and even humans. Bat- or toad-infecting fungi that endanger the entire species are already in existence. The loss of these species would have a detrimental impact on entire eco systems. To deploy our Troygenics against those threats, only small modifications are necessary. A target specific ligand has to be fused to the major coat protein pVIII and short target specific guideRNAs need to be exchanged in the CeDIS.

Medical applications

Fungi are not the only eukaryotic pathogens. Trypanosoma, which cause the African sleeping sickness and often result in the patients' death (WHO), are another challenge that could eventually be tackled by Troygenics. Since our Troygenics would specifically fight the Trypanosoma while having no effect on the human cells, they show great advantages to conventional treatments. Usually, Trypanosoma are treated with chemicals. Those chemicals have to cross the blood-brain-barrier, like Trypanosoma do, too. Unfortunately the common treatments can show severe side-effects that result in serious brain-damage (WHO). Troygenics offer a potential resource for the development of less invasive treatment.

Human practices

To fully equip our Troygenics for a specific real world application, additional work is required, as numerous experts pointed out during discussions. It would be very helpful to test the adaptability of Troygenics to various different target cells. For this purpose, several experts we contacted, like Prof. Deising and Prof. Diallinas, proposed we visit their labs to examine wether our Troygenics are able to transform different fungi their groups are working with.
Troygenics are a really promising approach. You could visit my lab to test your system on further possible targets if you want.
Prof. Diallinas; Prof. Deising
Department of Biology of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens; Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
Additionally, it would be very helpful to stay in contact with stakeholders like Dr. Beuters from Bayer to gain deeper insight into the regulations and admission processes for products like our Troygenics.
You should consider the regulations and admission procedures to make your product marketable.
Dr. Beuters
Bayer CropScience
Last but not least, we should reach out to people from every possible field of application to evaluate the different needs of all target groups.

Science communication

During the course of our project, we observed that many people are not at all connected to SynBio at all. However, they show a great interest in this topic if it is communicated in a customized and thus engaging way that considers their interests and background. Because we would love to open up the world of SynBio to interested people interested in the topic from the most diverse parts of community, we have designed a concept that can be adapted to different interests. During the last six months, we launched two exhibitions about SynBio in a literature museum and a museum of natural history respectively, but there are so many more ways in which we can reach people: Other feasible occasions would be agricultural events. Additionally, we could point out the possible applications of Troygenics at the ISS in space, as Paul Zabel from the German Aerospace Center suggested.
Well, your Troygenics might even have an application on the ISS.
Paul Zabel
German Aerospace Center
During the design-phases of our science communication concept, we furthermore learned that it is possible to find connections to topics that are, at first sight, not related to SynBio at all, such as cooking and baking. Because natural sciences are the base for all life on earth, it is possible to find connections to every conceivable topic in everyday life. A great way to present our beloved SynBio to a broad audience would be to set up a booth on cultural fairs. In conclusion, we state that there is a great need to improve science communication, and the concept we designed presents itself as a promising approach, as the positive feedback we got from different audiences reveal.
Our Troygenics constitute a universal platform for overcoming various imminent problems.