Rewriting the blueprint of life by synthetic genomics and genome engineering

Genome Biol. 2015 Jun 16;16(1):125. doi: 10.1186/s13059-015-0689-y.


Advances in DNA synthesis and assembly methods over the past decade have made it possible to construct genome-size fragments from oligonucleotides. Early work focused on synthesis of small viral genomes, followed by hierarchical synthesis of wild-type bacterial genomes and subsequently on transplantation of synthesized bacterial genomes into closely related recipient strains. More recently, a synthetic designer version of yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae chromosome III has been generated, with numerous changes from the wild-type sequence without having an impact on cell fitness and phenotype, suggesting plasticity of the yeast genome. A project to generate the first synthetic yeast genome--the Sc2.0 Project--is currently underway.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bacteriophage T7 / genetics
  • Chromosomes / genetics
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • DNA, Fungal / genetics
  • DNA, Viral / genetics
  • Deoxyribonucleases / genetics
  • Deoxyribonucleases / metabolism
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Genetic Engineering / methods*
  • Genome, Bacterial*
  • Genome, Fungal*
  • Genome, Viral*
  • Genomics / methods
  • Genotype
  • Mycoplasma genitalium / genetics
  • Phenotype
  • Poliovirus / genetics
  • Recombinant Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • DNA, Fungal
  • DNA, Viral
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Deoxyribonucleases