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Project Abstract

For over a millennium, saffron has stood as the most expensive spice in the world, mostly due to the incredible amount of work required to extract the spice from the crocus flower. Our iGEM team aims to produce saffron in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis in order to create an inexpensive alternative to the current method of manufacturing the spice. This project, named Saffron in a Kan, will seek to first express the genes necessary for the three main components of saffron - picrocin, crocin, and safranal - and then to optimize the output of these three components in Synechocystis.

A secondary goal for our team is to produce the above components in E. coli as well, to see if our biobrick can be used in more than one bacterium as well as to compare yield.

Finally, our team seeks to create a BioPaint set using fluorescent proteins, which shall be biobricked and placed on the registry for future teams to have more colors than the commonly-found red, yellow, cyan and green fluorescent proteins.