The safety of team members and staff in the laboratory was a priority while participating in our iGEM project. Potential risks posed to those working in the lab environment were identified and strategies to mitigate those risks were implemented, in accordance to local and international regulatory standards.
- Biosafety at Macquarie Institutional Biosafety Committee
- Biosafety at Macquarie University Faculty of Science
- Chemical Safety at Macquarie University
- Gene technology act
Prior to the execution of our project the team participated in a lab induction involving a review of safe working procedure for lab equipment and biosafety. Training included the safe disposal of waste and sharps and the handling of biological spills. The lab induction detailed the criteria of appropriate lab clothing and shoes and the use of personal protective equipment. Lab supervisors are trained in first aid and the lab fitted with multiple first aid stations. There was a Laboratory Safety and Procedures manual and chemical safety (MSDS's, risk assessment) available in the lab for reference at all times.
The Biosafety committee of Macquarie University is responsible for overseeing biological safety. The iGEM project conducted was approved by the Biosafety committee due to compliance with its guidelines.
The Australian federal government has legislative guidelines to regulate Australian Biosafety, with the enforcement of these guidelines enacted by the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator within the Department of Health. The Office provides a full list of relevant Australian legislation which may be found on their Legislation page. This iGEM project met the standards and requirements set by our internal safety committee, domestic requirements, and international guidelines.
|Species name (including strain)||Risk Group||Risk Group Source||Disease risk to humans?|
|Escherichia coli DH5 Alpha||Level 1||Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL) 5th Edition||Minimal health risk; the DH5 Alpha E.coli strain being used for the project is non-pathogenic. The New England Biolabs (NEB) safety data sheet states the DH5 Alpha strain is not known to consistently cause disease in immunocompromised individuals.|
All genes were sourced from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and synthesised.
|Part number / name||Natural function of part||How will we use it?|
|BBa_K1640019||ChlH is the catalytic subunit of Magnesium chelatase. This oligomeric enzyme initiates the first committed step of the chlorophyll-a biosynthesis pathway via insertion of an Mg2+ ion into protoporphyrin IX to generate Mg-protoporphyrin IX.||We will use this part to form part of the chlorophyll biosynthesis pathway.|
|BBa_K1640018||ChlM gene from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, encodes magnesium protoporphyrin IX methyltransferase, a protein involved in chlorophyll biosynthesis..||We will use this part to form part of the chlorophyll biosynthesis pathway.|
|BBa_K1640003 (Under construction)||The psbD gene that comprises this part encodes the D2 protein, which is one of the two proteins that comprise the Photosystem II reaction centre core.||We will use this part to test a minimal Photosystem 2 biosynthesis pathway.|
|BBa_K1640024||The psbC gene that comprises this part codes a subunit that makes up the Photosystem II protein P680. The P680 complex is photosystem II primary electron donor.||We will use this part to test a minimal Photosystem 2 biosynthesis pathway.|
|BBa_K1640020||The psbA gene that comprises this part encodes the D1 protein, which is one of the two proteins that comprise the Photosystem II reaction centre core.||We will use this part to test a minimal Photosystem 2 biosynthesis pathway.|
|BBa_K1640006||This part is composed of psbE, psbL and psbJ genes. The protein encoded by psbE binds heme. The psbJ protein subunit is required for correct Photosystem II assembly. The psbJ protein is required for the stability of the Mn cluster in the Oxygen Evolution Complex.||We will use this part to test a minimal Photosystem 2 biosynthesis pathway.|
|BBa_K1640007 (Under construction)||This part is composed of the psbT and psbB genes. The psbT protein's function is not well known however it appears to be involved in the dimerization of Photosystem II and is essential for photosynthetic activity.||We will use this part to test a minimal Photosystem 2 biosynthesis pathway.|
|BBa_K1640008||This part is composed of the psbM, psbZ, and psbH genes. The psbM protein subunit is positioned at the monomer-monomer interface. The psbZ protein controls the interaction of Photosystem II cores with the light-harvesting antenna. The psbH protein is required for stability and assembly of the photosystem II complex.||We will use this part to form a composite and test a minimal Photosystem 2 biosynthesis pathway.|
|BBa_K1640021||This part is composed of psbW and psbK genes. The psbW protein stabilizes dimeric Photosystem II. The psbK protein is also required for stability and assembly of Photosystem II.||We will use this part to form a composite and test a minimal Photosystem 2 biosynthesis pathway.|
|BBa_K1640023||The psbO gene that comprises this part encodes a manganese stabilising protein.||We will use this part to form a composite and test a minimal Photosystem 2 biosynthesis pathway.|
|BBa_K1640022||The psbP gene that comprises this part transcribes a protein that optimizes the availability of Ca2+ and Cl- cofactors in the Oxygen Evolving Complex in PSII to maintain the active Manganese cluster.||We will use this part to form a composite and test a minimal Photosystem 2 biosynthesis pathway.|
|BBa_K1640012||This part is composed of the psbQ and psbR genes. The psbQ protein is an oxygen enhancer protein. The psbR protein is an important link in the Photosystem II core complex for stable assembly of the Oxygen Evolving Complex.||We will use this part to form a composite and test a minimal Photosystem 2 biosynthesis pathway.|