Gold Medal

Two awards (Europe) :
Best Human Practices, Overgrad
Best Best Model, Overgrad
Advance to World Championship (USA)


Building on a long-standing French fascination for frogs, we wanted to spread this enthusiasm to the world of synthetic biology by introducing a new, vertebrate chassis to the community: Xenopus tropicalis.

This leap towards multicellular biological engineering required new tools, so we first developed a new set of frog compatible vectors, biobricked tissue specific promoters and a new technique to assemble them in a single shot.

To benefit from tissue compartmentalisation, we created a synthetic, orthogonal hormonal system using the plant molecule auxin. We also investigated E. coli / Xenopus interfacing, effectively creating a synthetic ecosystem. We modelled our system at the organism scale, using a multi-level and multi-technique approach.

Finally, working with whole animals during iGEM brought a load of difficult ethical questions regarding animal biotechnologies and experimentation. This led us to wonder: Are we a chassis?

For further information about the 2012 iGEM competition, visit the iGEM 2012 website.

iGEM From Above 2012 World Championship Jamboree (1028_7131)
250 teams worldwide participated at the 2012 iGEM competition