Gold medal

1 award nomination:
Best New Composite Part, Overgrad


“Communication is Key” is a universal principle that applies to all levels of organization: from microbial colonies to human social networks.

Communication helps single-celled organisms to determine their collective fate by quorum sensing, and individual footballers to coordinate the winning goal for their team (Allez les bleus!).

However, if the language used to communicate has limited vocabulary, it’s hard to have any meaningful conversation.

Synthetic bacterial consortia are currently engineered using a very small set of signalling molecules for cell-to-cell communication, thus limiting the potential of this powerful technology.

In our project, PepTalk, we repurpose the small peptide based signalling system of SPbeta group bacteriophages for application in the more widely used laboratory workhorse Escherichia coli by engineering hybrid E. coli promoters in order to demonstrate orthogonal communication channels between cells. The PepTalk system will expand the repertoire of unique bacterial communication signals, enabling more complex conversations in bacterial consortia.

For further information about the 2018 iGEM competition, visit the iGEM 2018 website.

iGEM From Above 2018
343 teams worldwide participated at the 2018 iGEM competition