Banana, the major food source in tropical areas, is being threatened by a new fatal disease called BXW. To realise early detection of disease and prevent it from spreading, the team devised a simple and portable test kit by transforming E. coli into a receiver of bacterial communication signal and enhancing the sensitivity of system with reference to and modification of previous experiment results. With devoted efforts and opinions from quarantine workers, banana experts in mainland China, and medical and genetic professionals, the newly invented test allows detection during early phases of infection even when the bacteria concentration is low.
The novel design has led the team to receive a Gold medal and CUHK to win for its sixth time in the annual premier synthetic biology competition. A test solution was also developed based on the team’s achievement and has been proven theoretically effective and reliable in laboratory tests, shedding light to help farmers and frontier quarantine departments to tackle the bacterial threat.
University Press Release