Synthetic Bacterial Chromosomes

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Science  29 Feb 2008:
Vol. 319, Issue 5867, pp. 1157
DOI: 10.1126/science.319.5867.1157g

The synthesis of genomes de novo will provide a powerful tool for understanding the basic biology of living organisms and designing genomes for medical and environmental applications. Gibson et al. (p. 1215, published online 24 January; see the Perspective by Endy) have assembled the complete 580,076-base pair genome of Mycoplasma genitalium, starting from cassettes of 5 to 7 kilobases in size. The synthetic genome contained short “watermark” sequences at intergenic locations. Although it was possible to do some of the assembly in vitro, the larger fragments were assembled (that is, quarter genomes assembled into halves and wholes) by recombination in yeast.

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