Our team


ABOA is a team of students from Turku, competing in the annual biggest international synthetic biology competition, iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine). The objective of iGEM is to solve a current problem by inventing and carrying out a research project that utilizes synthetic biology. All students from the University of Turku, Åbo Akademi and Turku University of Applied sciences can join ABOA and all majors even outside the biosciences are appreciated and needed. The first ABOA team competed in 2019 and the tradition has been continued with teams in 2021 and now, in 2022.

ABOA 2022

ABOA 2022 consists of students studying biomedicine, biochemistry, biology and biotechnology at both bachelor’s and master’s degree level at the University of Turku. The team is fully responsible for the planning, implementation and applying for funding for the research project.

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As our project for the iGEM 2022 competition, we aim to develop a cell-free detection system for plant pathogens. Plant diseases are a threat to both local and global food security, and the threat is steadily increasing for example due to climate change. Farmers all around the world lose yields due to the infections caused by various pathogens. They lack an efficient and easy way to detect the infected crops early enough, and usually when the first symptoms occur, the crop and even the whole yield might already be lost. Therefore, early detection of plant pathogens is crucial to prevent yield losses and ensure food security. 

Our detection system is based on the toehold switch mechanism, and the modularity of our system allows it to be modified for various different pathogens. The cell-free nature of our detection system allows an easier user experience as the toehold-based detection does not require any special laboratory equipment or personnel but instead can be done easily on-site. The final implementation approach of our detection system could be a paper-based concept, in which the needed components would be freeze dried onto a piece of chromatography paper. 


For getting more detailed information about our project, please contact us via email aboa@utu.fi!

Articles of us

May 2022

Turun yliopisto jakoi kannustinapurahan kahdelle opiskelijaprojektille

"Virukset infektoivat Suomen merkittävimpiä viljelykasveja, kuten perunaa ja ohraa, ja aiheuttavat isoja maatalouden tappioita. Projektin lopputulos olisi hyödyllinen ratkaisu maatalouden käyttöön."

August 2022

Ruoantuotannon turvaamiseen keskittyvä opiskelijoiden projekti palkittiin kansainvälisessä osakilpailussa

"Aboan projekti palkittiin viime viikonloppuna vaikuttavimpana projektina Ruotsin Linköpingissä järjestetyssä osatapahtumassa, pohjoismaalaisten joukkueiden konferenssissa."