In its application, the main goals of Purdue iGEM’s phosphate bioremediation project are to prevent the leaching of any viable constructs into treated water and avoid the expression of any parts harmful to humans, plants, and animals.
To meet these goals our team chose to immobilize our constructs in macroscale sol-gel beads and use nonpathogenic DH5 strains of Escherichia coli (E. coli) throughout the entirety of our project. This strain of E. coli has been ‘whitelisted’ by iGEM and is deemed to be a low risk microorganism.
Because the parts our team worked with are solely responsible for the uptake, storage, and export of phosphorus, they pose no direct threat to human, plant, or animal health. As such these parts also pose little threat for ‘dual-use’ purposes.