SynWiki: Functional annotation of the first artificial organism Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn3A

Protein Sci. 2022 Jan;31(1):54-62. doi: 10.1002/pro.4179. Epub 2021 Sep 20.


The new field of synthetic biology aims at the creation of artificially designed organisms. A major breakthrough in the field was the generation of the artificial synthetic organism Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn3A. This bacterium possesses only 452 protein-coding genes, the smallest number for any organism that is viable independent of a host cell. However, about one third of the proteins have no known function indicating major gaps in our understanding of simple living cells. To facilitate the investigation of the components of this minimal bacterium, we have generated the database SynWiki ( SynWiki is based on a relational database and gives access to published information about the genes and proteins of M. mycoides JCVI-syn3A. To gain a better understanding of the functions of the genes and proteins of the artificial bacteria, protein-protein interactions that may provide clues for the protein functions are included in an interactive manner. SynWiki is an important tool for the synthetic biology community that will support the comprehensive understanding of a minimal cell as well as the functional annotation of so far uncharacterized proteins.

Keywords: SynWiki; essential genes; genome annotation; synthetic biology.

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins* / chemistry
  • Bacterial Proteins* / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins* / metabolism
  • Databases, Genetic*
  • Genome, Bacterial*
  • Molecular Sequence Annotation*
  • Mycoplasma mycoides* / chemistry
  • Mycoplasma mycoides* / genetics
  • Mycoplasma mycoides* / metabolism
  • Software*
  • Synthetic Biology


  • Bacterial Proteins