Team:William and Mary



Characterization of promoter-driven transcriptional noise in E. coli


In deciding which parts to submit to the iGEM Registry we focused on three main aspects.

First: ensuring our project is as reproducible and extensible as possible. To that end we have submitted all of new composite fluorescent protein parts that we constructed during the project.
Second: Making genome integration as straightforward as possible for iGEM teams. In order to accomplish this goal we designed, tested, and validated a new integrator cassette that allows simple genome integration using 3A or Gibson Assembly.
Third: Increasing the number of tools available for promoter-mediated regulation in synthetic biology. We created and validated an E. coli codon optimized dCas9 variant and a suite of gRNAs to target the most commonly used promoters in iGEM.

Measurement & Modeling

We measured noise in fluorescence data for dual-integrated sets of CFP and YFP under three promoters: BBa_R0010, BBa_R0011, and BBa_R0051. We also developed an analytic model of the impact of plasmid copy number fluctuations on transcriptional noise, which revealed that intrinsic noise cannot be accurately measured from reporters on the pSB1X3 plasmid series.

Human practices

Our Human Practices effort was a multi-faceted outreach approach to science literacy, focusing specifically on spreading a basic understanding of synthetic biology to the general public. We collaborated with numerous organizations to host nine educational Synthetic Biology workshops for the public (from first graders to adults!) and to implement our educational 24-activity Synthetic Biology booklet into schools worldwide, to further sustain our efforts for years to come.


W&M iGEM met and exceeded iGEM's collaboration requirements by collaborating with other researchers in four main ways: creating a pen pal program to connect teams with similar projects, participating in the interlab measurement study, interviewing the general public to provide data to future teams about how to communicate synthetic biology, and collaborating on individual research projects with iGEM teams from University of Georgia, University of Maryland, and Cambridge.

2015 Jamboree Results

Undergraduate Grand Prize Winner

Best in Track: Measurement

Best Education & Public Engagement

Best Presentation

Nominee: Best Mathematical Model