First artificially synthesized yeast chromosome: A revolutionary combination of computation and biology

First artificially synthesized yeast chromosome: A revolutionary combination of computation and biology

There are two write-ups on :  First artificially synthesized yeast chromosome: A revolutionary combination of computation and biology and the second one is titled, “Total Synthesis of a Functional Designer Eukaryotic Chromosome.  The first one has been composed by Samad, Research Associate, Samsad Razzaque at the Plant Biotech lab, DU and the second by the Gnobb Office.  Since they are complementary, it is suggested that the readers read both. The first one is titled, “First artificially synthesized yeast chromosome: A revolutionary combination of computation and biology.” and the second one, “Total Synthesis of a Functional Designer Eukaryotic Chromosome.”
Dhaka March 29, 2014. In an article entitled, ‘Total Synthesis of a Functional Designer Eukaryotic Chromosome’ published in March 27, 2014, issue of Science (Page 1:10.1126/science.1249252), the lead author Narayana Annaluru with eighty associates from sixteen different research Institutes  have synthesized the first functional chromosome in yeast, which promises to revolutionize medical and industrial biotechnology in the coming century. The researchers built the artificial chromosome from scratch by stitching synthetic strands of DNA together in a sequence based on the known genome of brewer’s yeast. However, artificial chromosomes have been built before. But those were relatively faithful copies of natural chromosomes, the tiny threadlike structures made of tightly packed DNA that serve as the body’s blueprints. By contrast, the new chromosome is a product of purposeful tinkering, but the yeast that carries it acts like normal yeast. The researchers began going over the third chromosome of S. cerevisiae, and changed 50,000 base pairs out of some 317,000. They deleted regions containing jumping genes, changed sequences to make the synthetic chromosome easier to build, and added sequences that would later allow them to randomly cut out individual genes. Despite these changes, yeast cells that carried the designer chromosome—known as SynIII—were indistinguishable from those of the normal version. The seven-year effort to construct synIII tied together some 273, 871 base pairs of DNA, shorter than its native yeast counterpart, which has 316,667 base pairs. The team made more than 500 alterations to its genetic base, removing repeating sections of some 47,841 DNA base pairs, deemed unnecessary to chromosome reproduction and growth. Other sets of base pairs were added or altered to enable researchers to tag DNA as synthetic or native, and to delete or move genes on synIII. In addition, using the scrambling technique, researchers may be able to develop synthetic strains of yeast more quickly that could be used in the manufacture of rare medicines, such as artemisinin for malaria, or in the production of certain vaccines, such as for hepatitis B, which is derived from yeast. Synthetic yeast could also be used to boost up development of more efficient biofuels, such as alcohol, butanol, and biodiesel.
The second article reads as follows: In a research article entitled, “Total Synthesis of a Functional Designer Eukaryotic Chromosome,” published online March 27 in Science,”  Narayana Annaluru  and 79  of his associates built a ‘Designer’ chromosome for brewer’s yeast from scratch. Molecular biologists extracted  DNA  from yeast and added sequences in the first ever creation of an artificial ‘eukaryotic’ chromosome.  With the  rapid advancements in DNA synthesis technology, it has been possible to engineer viruses, biochemical pathways and assemble bacterial genomes. On March 27, the unique team consisting of 81 researchers  have reported the synthesis of a functional 272,871–base pair designer eukaryotic chromosome designated synIII.  It is derived from 316,617–base pair native  yeast (=Saccharomyces cerevisiae) chromosome III. SynIII comprise: a) TAG/TAA stop-codon replacements,  b) deletion of subtelomeric regions,  c) introns,  d) transfer RNAs,  e) transposons, and f)  a silent mating loci. In addition,  it includes  the insertion of loxPsym sites to enable genome scrambling. SynIII is functional in S. cerevisiae. Scrambling of the chromosome in a heterozygous diploid reveals a large increase in a-mater derivatives resulting from loss of the MATα allele on synIII. The complete design and synthesis of synIII establishes S. cerevisiae as the basis for designer eukaryotic genome biology.

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