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Synthetic Yeast Chromosome SynXI: Advancements in Biotechnology and Bioproduction


A team from Imperial College London and the University of Nottingham in the UK has produced synthetic chromosomes for yeast cells. The finding of this synthetic yeast chromosome is called SynXI.

These synthetic chromosomes are known to be able to replace natural chromosomes and allow yeast cells to continue to grow and develop as usual.

“Chromosome , quoted from the page imperial.ac.uk.

Chromosome Fusion Engineering for Biotechnology Development

Scientists say they engineered chromosomes with the aim of producing chromosomes that have special characteristics that are not found in natural chromosomes.

So, this could allow synthetic chromosomes to manipulate natural chromosomes to enhance the role of yeast in making new drugs and biotechnology.

According to research published in Cell Genomics, it is known that the construction of synthetic yeast chromosome XI (synXI) and its characterization contribute to the understanding of non-coding DNA elements.

In addition, this research also provides facilities for the formation of induced extrachromosomal circular DNA (eccDNA) which is useful for future synthetic genome design.

“Yeast, an organism with the innate ability to fuse DNA, was domesticated many years ago for baking and brewing,” said Tom Ellis, Professor from the Center for Synthetic Biology and Department of Biotechnology at Imperial College London.

“Recently, we have exploited its unique properties to create new chemicals and modeled them after the workings of human cells. We have just unlocked their potential,” he added.

Artificial Chromosomes Comparable to the Originals

Through this project, researchers say that chromosomes designed by computers, assembled from chemicals as their constituents, are also able to function as well as their natural versions.

“This first paper can increase our knowledge and understanding of how the yeast genome helps solve today’s pressing problems, from treatment-resistant cancer to more environmentally friendly bioproduction,” said Ellis.

According to Dr Ben Blount, Assistant Professor from the School of Life Sciences at the University of Nottingham, this synthetic chromosome is a huge technical achievement, but it will also open up a huge number of new capabilities in the way we study and apply biology.

“This can range from creating new microbial strains for more environmentally friendly bioproduction, to helping us understand and fight disease,” Blount said.

As the lead scientist on the project, Blount admitted that the synthetic yeast genome project was an example of scientific development on a large scale.

“It has been an incredible experience to be part of this monumental effort, where all involved are striving towards the same common goal,” he concluded.

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2023-11-21 14:00:00
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