Team:CCA San Diego/Design


Last year, our team also sought to degrade PAHs for the purpose of clean energy production. However, many of our parts were not compatible for assembly or couldn’t be synthesized; additionally, we were not able to experimentally validate our constructs. Last year’s judges encouraged us to continue with the idea and seek to experimentally support our work, which led us to our goals for this year.

Additionally, three of our team’s previous PAH degradation constructs (fluorene, phenanthrene, and naphthalene) degrade the aforementioned PAHs to salicylate or phthalate, both of which are still not completely usable by E. coli. Thus, we chose to target salicylate and phthalate, and we were able to identify pathways for the degradation of each compound to pyruvate.

Parts Design

The parts CCA iGEM designed this year are outlined below for the three compounds that we aimed to degrade: phthalate, salicylate, and chrysene.

Literature Review

We performed extensive research in order to select target PAHs, find ideal gene targets, determine optimal degradation conditions, and research protocols and methods utilized by other scientists. The information gained from our research proved invaluable throughout the course of Horizon 2.0. Here we summarize the key insights and data presented by pertinent literature.

Main Purpose - Develop novel constructs to promote biohydrogen synthesis from fermentation pathways, as well as novel PAH degradation pathways.