Whole genome engineering by synthesis
Whole genome engineering is now feasible with the aid of genome editing and synthesis tools. Synthesizing a genome from scratch allows modifications of the genomic structure and function to an extent that was hitherto not possible, which will finally lead to new insights into the basic principles of life and enable valuable applications. With several recent genome synthesis projects as examples, the technical details to synthesize a genome and applications of synthetic genome are addressed in this perspective. A series of ongoing or future synthetic genomics projects, including the different genomes to be synthesized in GP-write, synthetic minimal genome, massively recoded genome, chimeric genome and synthetic genome with expanded genetic alphabet, are also discussed here with a special focus on theoretical and technical impediments in the design and synthesis process. Synthetic genomics will become a commonplace to engineer pathways and genomes according to arbitrary sets of design principles with the development of high-efficient, low-cost genome synthesis and assembly technologies.
Keywordssynthetic biology synthetic genome genome engineering functional genomics genome design
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31725002), by Bureau of International Cooperation, Chinese Academy of Sciences (172644KYSB20170042) and by the Key Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (KFZD-SW- 215). We also thank the financial support from Youth Innovation Promotion Association of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (2018396), China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2017M620393) and Technical Innovation Special Fund of Hubei Province (2018ACA149).
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