Fast new, one-step genetic engineering technology

May 22, 2013
Fast new, one-step genetic engineering technology
A new, streamlined approach to genetic engineering drastically reduces the time and effort needed to insert new genes into bacteria, the workhorses of biotechnology. Credit: iStockphoto/Thinkstock

A new, streamlined approach to genetic engineering drastically reduces the time and effort needed to insert new genes into bacteria, the workhorses of biotechnology, scientists are reporting. Published in the journal ACS Synthetic Biology, the method paves the way for more rapid development of designer microbes for drug development, environmental cleanup and other activities.

Keith Shearwin and colleagues explain that placing, or integrating, a piece of the genetic material DNA into a bacterium's genome is critical for making designer bacteria. That DNA can give microbes the ability to churn out ingredients for medication, for instance, or substances that break down oil after a big spill. But current methods are time-consuming and involve many steps. The approaches have other limitations as well. To address those drawbacks, the researchers sought to develop a new, one-step genetic engineering technology, which they named "clonetegration," a reference to clones or copies of genes or .

Fast new, one-step genetic engineering technology

They describe development and successful laboratory tests of clonetegration in E. coli and Salmonella typhimurium bacteria, which are used in biotechnology. The method is quick, efficient and easy to do and can integrate multiple genes at the same time. They predict that clonetegration "will become a valuable technique facilitating genetic engineering with difficult-to-clone sequences and rapid construction of synthetic ."

Explore further: Geneticists offer clues to better rice, tomato crops

More information: "One-Step Cloning and Chromosomal Integration of DNA," ACS Synthetic Biology. DOI: 10.1021/sb400021j

Abstract
We describe "clonetegration", a method for integrating DNA into prokaryotic chromosomes that approaches the simplicity of cloning DNA within extrachromosomal vectors. Compared to existing techniques, clonetegration drastically decreases the time and effort needed for integration of single or multiple DNA fragments. Additionally, clonetegration facilitates cloning and expression of genetic elements that are impossible to propagate within typical multicopy plasmids.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Predictability: The brass ring for synthetic biology

Mar 14, 2013

(Phys.org) —Predictability is often used synonymously with "boring," as in that story or that outcome was soooo predictable. For practitioners of synthetic biology seeking to engineer valuable new microbes, ...

The first caffeine-'addicted' bacteria

Mar 27, 2013

Some people may joke about living on caffeine, but scientists now have genetically engineered E. coli bacteria to do that—literally. Their report in the journal ACS Synthetic Biology describes bacteria bein ...

Smaller genome, greater applications

Mar 26, 2012

Bacteria are often the ideal machines in industry. The inputs they require are cheap substances such as amino acids and sugar, and their outputs are valuable products such as bioplastics.

Recommended for you

The microbes make the sake brewery

Jul 24, 2014

A sake brewery has its own microbial terroir, meaning the microbial populations found on surfaces in the facility resemble those found in the product, creating the final flavor according to research published ahead of print ...

User comments : 0