iGEM team Aachen 2017 began their lab experiments

Modified cells should perform as microbial “dustbins” within water

This year, the team is researching a genetically modified yeast (S.cerevisiae) which is capable of taking up and storing salts, in this case NaCl. They plan to modify the already existing NaCl ion pathways of S.cerevisiae, which compels the yeast cell to store the ions in its vacuole, a naturally existing storing compartment, instead of releasing it back into the water.

In addition to that, they are integrating the vacuolar salt sequestration mechanism of Arabidopsis thaliana into the yeast’s genome. As a result, the modified cells should perform as microbial “dustbins” within the water, which can be filtered out from the deionized water afterwards. With this technique, they aim to develop an energy-efficient alternative procedure for desalinating water. In addition to the support from m2p-labs, the team was also supported by several associations, institutes and companies. m2p-labs wishes the iGEM team Aachen success in their endeavor. 

iGEM Website: http://igem.rwth-aachen.de/2017.php