Water Toxicity Detection using Genetically Engineered Yeast

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W81XWH-09-C-0073
Agency Tracking Number: A083-174-0418
Amount: $730,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: Army 08-174
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
P.O. Box 100, Ithaca, NY, 14850
DUNS: 022552900
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Kathie Berghorn
 Staff Scientist
 (607) 272-0002
Business Contact
 Noe Salazar
Title: President
Phone: (512) 656-6200
Email: nsalazar@agavebio.com
Research Institution
The rapid evaluation of drinking water toxicity in the field is a necessity for the safety of our soldiers. To achieve field portability and sensitive screening for identification of toxic industrial chemicals (TICs) a handheld device that is biologically-based and easy to use with components that remain viable for 6 months would be ideal. In Phase I, Agave BioSystems proposed to develop an accurate and efficient cell-based biosensor using engineered yeast to rapidly evaluate toxicity in drinking water. Phase I results were highly successful in that Agave BioSystems developed a yeast biosensor exploiting yeast strains engineered to report changes in fluorescence upon exposure to chemical stress, resulting in proof-of-concept for this novel biosensor. This methodology utilized Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast measuring differences in GFP expression to ensure TIC detection accuracy establishing proof-of-concept for rapid detection of a range of toxicants between MEG and HLC. Additionally, this novel yeast strain can be lyophilized for long term storage and is expected to be responsive to several classes of TICs.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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