Streamlining genomes: toward the generation of simplified and stabilized microbial systems

Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2012 Oct;23(5):651-8. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2012.05.001. Epub 2012 May 29.


At the junction between systems and synthetic biology, genome streamlining provides a solid foundation both for increased understanding of cellular circuitry, and for the tailoring of microbial chassis towards innovative biotechnological applications. Iterative genomic deletions (targeted and random) helps to generate simplified, stabilized and predictable genomes, whereas multiplexing genome engineering reveals a broad functional genetic diversity. The decrease in oligo and gene synthesis costs promises effective combinatorial tools for the generation of chassis based on streamlined and tractable genomes. Here we review recent progresses in streamlining genomes through recombineering techniques aiming to generate insights into cellular mechanisms and responses towards the design and assembly of streamlined genome chassis together with new cellular modules in diverse biotechnological applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biotechnology / methods*
  • Escherichia coli / cytology
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Genetic Engineering / methods*
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genome / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Engineering / methods
  • Microbiology*
  • Synthetic Biology / methods*