Hubei University of Technology

Wuhan, China

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Nickel Absorber:Gluttonous Yeast

In order to achieve the goal of nickel ion adsorption, we use to approaches.

First, we use the surface display system of MFα1+hexa-his+ AGα1, which works together to capture nickel ions.

Second, we use the NixA to transfer nickel ions into cells.

Third, we use the TgMTP1t2 to transfer nickel ions from the cells into the vacuoles.

Under the coordination of these three sets of genes, our engineered yeast can actively absorb nickel ions, and its tolerance to nickel ions is greatly increased.


An animated demonstration of the mechanism of absorbing nickel ions.

About Us

We are aware of the serious environmental impact of heavy metal pollution, and we are focused mainly on the heavy metal pollutant, nickel ion.

In 2017, HBUT-China achieved nickel ion detection, and in 2018 we improved on the original. The next logical step was to envision a nickel ion absorption system. After further thinking, this year we used synthetic biology to design and construct an engineered yeast that can absorb nickel ions. Using Saccharomyces cerevisiae as the biological chassis, we are eager to solve the problem of nickel ion pollution with a purely biological solution.

We constructed a circuit containing three nickel ion adsorption-related genes in S. cerevisiae to achieve the binding and biosorption of nickel ions. At the same time, we also designed a nickel effluent treatment plant – a mini factory – for the Ni2+ removal process, and also proposed a concept for Ni2+ recovery/recycling. Combined with the previous years' projects, a total solution for Nickel Ion detection, removal, and recycling can be achieved.

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