Team:Macquarie Australia/Paris


Paris Bettencourt iGEM Team

This year’s Macquarie University iGEM team has continued a tradition of collaboration with the Paris Bettencourt iGEM Team by assisting them with their project. The Paris team’s project involves determining the enzymes involved in the break-down of pigment molecules in wine. The idea for this project stems from the fact that wine stains on clothes are amongst the hardest stains to remove, requiring, amongst others, perchloroethylene, which is listed as a possible human carcinogen. As such, finding an alternative method to removing wine stains would be beneficial to human health. The need for collecting samples from vineyards stems from the idea that certain organisms contain enzymes that are able to degrade wine pigments such as anthocyanins and tannins. Collecting these samples would enable the isolation and identification of these enzymes.

The many quality wine producing regions of Australia made collaborating with the Paris team for their iGEM project and collecting the required samples seem a natural fit. After discussing with the Paris team their requirements, we were able to collect two samples from a vineyard here in Australia for their project. The first sample was a falcon tube of soil obtained from around the roots of a vine. The second sample contained vine bark, as well as shoots from both last year’s vintage, and this year’s vintage. More detailed descriptions of the samples can be found here: French Collaboration.

The pictured samples were sent overseas. Customs forms for both France and Australia needed to be completed detailing what was contained in the samples. Examples of the customs forms that needed to be completed include: Customs Declaration.