The Elixio project defended by the iGEM Toulouse INSA-UPS 2021 team won the prestigious international iGEM competition. This exceptional result allows a French team to reach the top step of the podium for the first time in the Undergraduate category.

Toulouse INSA-UPS 2021 team, for of six students from INSA Toulouse and the University Toulouse III – Paul Sabatier and supervised by researchers, teacher-researchers and thesis students from TBI (Toulouse Biotechnology Institute), CBI (Centre for Integrative Biology) in Toulouse and LRSV (Plant Science Laboratory) in Toulouse, benefited from the financial and technical support of sponsors, including TWB.

This year, iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) synthetic biology competition, initially organised by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), brought together 352 teams from the world’s top schools and universities online from 4 to 14 November 2021. The students have worked on developing an innovative biological system that responded to a current problem.

Elixio project

After noting that most perfumes produced are issued from non-sustainable processes, and this is especially true for scents impossible to extract from the so-called “mute flowers” like the violet, the objective of the Elixio project was to create a sustainable biotechnological system capable of reproducing the fragrance of violets using microorganisms.

The students designed a synthetic consortium involving engineered cyanobacteria and yeast and allowing a sustainable production of the violet scent molecules from atmospheric CO2. They also demonstrated the production of ionones by our yeast which actually smells like violet! The Elixio project has already drawn attention from the industry!

Results of the competition

The Toulouse team won the gold medal on the “Undergraduate” podium and was nominated in 5 categories: best manufacturing project, best model, best wiki, best supporting entrepreneurship and best presentation. The students from Toulouse finally won a gold medal in the competition which rewards the most complete projects.

iGEM Jamboree 2021 Results / Podiums from previous editions

Projet Elixio contact : Camille Pin, 06 46 55 40 34, igem.toulouse@gmail.com, website