TWB supports the iGEM Toulouse 2015 project

TWB provides financial support to the iGEM Toulouse 2015 team. The aim of the project is the development of a means of controlling Varroa, the first cause of parasite-induced mortality among honey bees in Europe and in the US, by using a biological pathway that is more advantageous and ecological than chemical products used so far.

igemToulouse2015The varroa mite is a parasite of honey bees coming from the Asian continent, which is weakening European colonies. This is a major issue: honey bees are responsible for the reproduction of 80% of plant species as well as 35% of the global food production in terms of tonnage, through pollination.

The varroa control project consists in engineering a bacterium to produce alternately butyric acid which attracts the parasite, and then formic acid which causes its death. The production cycle of these molecules would follow a circadian rhythm, with production of butyric acid during the day and formic acid at night.

The iGEM Toulouse 2015 team is composed of ten students from Toulouse (seven engineer students from INSA and three Master’s students from the Paul Sabatier University) and supervised by a researcher at the LISBP (INSA – University of Toulouse).

The prestigious iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) competition in synthetic biology is organized by the MIT. This competition aims to promote the development of synthetic biology and its teaching.



Read more: iGEM Toulouse 2015