Synthetic Genomics

Over the past 30 years our ability to sequence DNA has greatly outstripped our capability to chemically synthesize DNA. We are interested in developing methods to close this "synthesis gap". Recently we have collaborated with Ham Smith, Cynthia Pfannkoch, and Craig Venter at IBEA (Institute for Biological Energy Alternatives) to work on improved methods for the assembly of large DNA from chemically synthesized oligonucleotides. We have proven these methods by assembling a  synthetic bacteriophage phiX174 genome. Further refinements should allow us to produce synthetic cellular genomes. Clyde is now half-time at the Venter Institute working on genome synthesis in the Synthetic Biology group led by Ham Smith.

Smith, H.O., Hutchison, C.A.III, Pfannkoch, C., and Venter, J.C. (2003) Generating a synthetic genome by whole genome assembly:  phiX174 bacteriophage from synthetic oligonucleotides. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 100, 15440-15445 (2003).

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Updated 4/30/04.