We aim to create an engineered gram negative bacterium with risk group 1, which is capable of producing Vitamin B12, and export it out of the cell.


In this safety page, we divided our safety procedure into 4 general parts, which are:

1. Safety Rules in Laboratory

2. Safe Project

3. Safety laws and regulations in Germany

4. Safe packaging and customs


1. Safety Rules in Laboratory

Before working in the lab all team members were informed in a safety instruction about the right behavior in the lab:

  • S1 laboratory safety measures and practices
  • Wearing safety clothes (lab coat, rubber gloves, safety glasses and safety masks)
  • Fire safety regulations and emergency action
  • Accident prevention
  • Documentation of experimental work and troubleshooting
  • Chemical safety regulations and hazards
  • Handling synthetic biology waste

Furthermore, the following topics were covered:

  • Basic information about iGEM and synthetic biology
  • General methods and techniques needed for DNA isolation cutting, joining of DNA and plasmid transformation

In order to minimize contamination risks, we do the experiments in laminar air flow (clean bench). Furthermore work areas like the open bench for no contamination relevant experiments as well as the chemical fume hood for critical chemicals were used.

All laboratory activities were done by the students under supervision of the instructors.

2. Safe Project

Prof. Rolf Daniel is responsible for the safety in our lab. The guidelines follow Ordinance on Safety and Health Protection at Workplaces Involving Biological Agents Biological Agents Ordinance - BioStoffV .

We do not use organisms from Risk Group 2, 3 or 4, and did not in no kind of way released genetically modified organisms, or their products, into the wild.

Like the huge majority of iGEM teams we were working only with Risk Group 1 organisms (according to German law, see below), in our case only non-pathogenic Enterobacteriaceae. From these, no special toxins or virulence factors are known that could be harmful to humans or require any additional safety precautions. For all Risk Group information of the organisms we use, follow the information behind the link:

  • Escherichia coli DH5alpha (Derived from K12): iGEM
  • Escherichia coli Top10 (Derived from K12): iGEM
  • Escherichia coli DSM4261 (ATCC 10799) (derived from Davis 113-3): DSMZ
  • Raoultella planticola DSM 3069 (ATCC 33531): DSMZ
  • Shimwelia blattae DSM 4481 (ATCC 29907) : DSMZ

With our project we are producing synthetic biological waste. Agar plates, pipet tips, falcon tubes, micro tubes, tissues, rubber gloves or any other contaminated waste is collected in special S1 waste containers and decontaminated with the autoclave before disposal.

Old cell cultures such as liquid wastes in general are also decontaminated by autoclaving according to the laboratory standard operational procedures and afterwards disposed to the sanitary sewer system.

We use lab coats, gloves and safety glasses in order to minimize contamination risks while working. Safety clothes are only worn in the lab and taken off when leaving the laboratory environment.

3. Safety laws and regulations in Germany

Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety

Genetic engineering

Gesetz zur Regelung der Gentechnik (Gentechnikgesetz - GenTG)

Official German version

German Central Commission for Biological Security

Lists of Risk Group classification

4. Packaging and Customs

When submitting our parts for the 2016 competition, we used the standard DNA Submission Kit that came with the 2016 Distribution, and followed the directions on the Registry .