Genomically recoded organisms expand biological functions

Science. 2013 Oct 18;342(6156):357-60. doi: 10.1126/science.1241459.


We describe the construction and characterization of a genomically recoded organism (GRO). We replaced all known UAG stop codons in Escherichia coli MG1655 with synonymous UAA codons, which permitted the deletion of release factor 1 and reassignment of UAG translation function. This GRO exhibited improved properties for incorporation of nonstandard amino acids that expand the chemical diversity of proteins in vivo. The GRO also exhibited increased resistance to T7 bacteriophage, demonstrating that new genetic codes could enable increased viral resistance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Substitution / genetics
  • Amino Acids / genetics*
  • Bacteriophage T7 / physiology*
  • Codon, Terminator / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli / virology*
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / genetics
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Genome, Bacterial
  • Organisms, Genetically Modified / genetics*
  • Organisms, Genetically Modified / virology*
  • Peptide Chain Termination, Translational / genetics
  • Peptide Termination Factors / genetics


  • Amino Acids
  • Codon, Terminator
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • Peptide Termination Factors