Massive locust swarms have threatened the food security of communities and cities in East Africa, Asia and the Middle East [1 – 3].
In 2020, eleven ambitious students, representing TU Delft, are competing in iGEM, the largest synthetic biological competition in the world. are working hard to tackle this problem. Their mission is to develop a sustainable bio-pesticide through responsible innovation and collaboration. By engineering a bacteriophage that would hijack the locust microbiome to produce a novel endotoxin, they hope to create a specific, scaleable and biologically safe method to kill locusts when they swarm . By doing this, they aim for food security and economic stability across the globe to achieve a brighter future for all. During this podcast, they will discuss the crisis and how they are planning to use this trojan horse bacteriophage as a biopesticide.