Team:Hong Kong-CUHK

Human Practice

BXW Detector
Project Description
Our project for the iGEM 2019 competition is Banana Savior: The X Sense. Banana Xanthomonas Wilt (BXW) is caused by the bacteria called Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum (Xcm). The disease was first reported in 2002, featured to be affected largely on the banana plantations in the Africa and cause up to 100% loss of banana strain once infected. And as banana population has low genetic variations, the whole population is subjected to this particular bacterial infection. As a result, a tool that could limiting the spread by early detection will be essential to tackle or relief the current situation.

The aim of this project is to develop a detection method that could be used to identify BXW-infected bananas at early stages, such to limit infection rate and prevent epidemic spreading across border. The need of a simple, laboratory-independent detection kit or device will be beneficial to the global control of the spread of BXW.

Diffusible signaling factor (DSF), as one of the biomarker of bacteria, which is a signal in cell-cell communication. Our design aims to detect the DSF specific to Xcm to indicate the presence of this pathogen inside sample to be tested. By synthetic biological approach, we couple the signaling pathway of RpfC/RpfG in Xcm to the signaling pathway of E. coli. Hopefully, a transformed E. coli can recognize the DSF of Xcm, and could show a red chromoprotein positive signal for warning.
Figure 1: DSF detection system suggested in this project