Perspectives

Yeast genome, by design

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Science  10 Mar 2017:
Vol. 355, Issue 6329, pp. 1024-1025
DOI: 10.1126/science.aam9739

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Summary

A core theme in synthetic biology, “understanding by creating,” inspired the effort to generate the first synthetic cell, JCVI-Syn1.0 (1). The project Sc2.0 is elevating this concept by attempting to create a synthetic version of a more evolved organism, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a eukaryotic single-celled yeast. In a set of papers in this issue (28), scientists of the Sc2.0 project who previously constructed a single yeast chromosome (9) now report constructing five additional yeast chromosomes (more than one-third of the entire genome) (see the photo). Using a variety of phenotypic assays and structural and functional genomics techniques, the researchers observed that the synthetic chromosomes drive biological processes just like the natural, native chromosomes.

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