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Crop Biotech Update

Genome Reprogramming for Synthetic Biology

March 22, 2017

The ability to go from a digitized DNA sequence to a predictable biological function is the main principle in synthetic biology. Genome engineering tools enable rewriting and implementation of engineered DNA sequences. The recent developments of new programmable tools to engineer genomes have also sparked a multitude of advances in synthetic biology.

These tools, such as the CRISPR-Cas9 system, enable RNA-guided redesign of organisms and the execution of synthetic gene systems. These new directed evolution methods generate organisms with radically restructured genomes, including restructured organisms with useful new phenotypes for biotechnology, such as bacteriophage resistance and increased genetic stability. Advanced DNA synthesis and assembly methods have also made possible the construction of fully synthetic organisms.

Arizona State University's Kylie Standage-Beier recently summarized these recent advances in programmable genome engineering tools as well as their impact on synthetic biology.

For more on this paper, read the article in Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering.