UZurich 2021: The official iGEM team of the University of Zurich

A vaccine for plants: our food’s future

Plants are the basis of sustenance. Human beings need food to live. The world population is growing. All these aspects have a central hinge: food stability. Synthetic pesticides have so far tried to play this role, but their limitations are increasingly evident: loss of biodiversity, human health problems, development of resistance by the pathogens attacked. We have the solution: Outer Membrane Vesicles. OMVs are bubbles that can do what a vaccine does for people, give a boost to their immune defences, therefore ensuring a stable future for agriculture.

Every iGEM team additionally will maintain a website that contains all the information about their project which will go online towards the end of their project. Come back later!

If you have questions or are interested in their project, check out their instagram and feel free to contact them there!

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It is our mission to elaborate on the implementation of plant PRRs (pattern recognition receptors). These membrane located proteins offer potential for microbial load detection in water. By collaborating with industry and academia alike, we are advancing the broad field of plant immunity and bio-reporters.


We took a step towards constructing a large protein cage within bacteria that can be used to confine and compartmentalize biochemical reactions with potential toxic intermediate products.

To produce this protein cage, we took a minimal component approach to replicate a natural phage-bacteria interaction. The phage we worked with encapsulates its DNA into a protein cage upon infection of the host bacteria.

By using multiple approaches such as microscopy, sequence analysis and in-vitro assays, we started to assess which proteins are necessary to form this protein cage. We then co-expressed promising candidate genes in the host and evaluated the results via microscopy.

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