An international consortium of scientists has embarked on the total design and synthesis of all the 16 yeast chromosomes of the laboratory organism, Saccharomyces cerevisiae.Once constructed, the 16 synthetic chromosomes will be consoli-dated into a single yeast strain along with a new 17th yeast chromosome called the “neochromosome” which contains all the tRNA genes, to generate a designer eukaryotic genome, Sc2.0. The key criterion for the stream-lined yeast (Sc2.0) is that it should retain the same cell ﬁtness and phenotype of the wild-type (Sc1.0), but show increased genetic stabil-ity and ﬂexibility to enable future studies. All the 16 syn-thetic yeast chromosomes have been designed using BioStu-dio, an open-source framework that was developed speciﬁ-cally to design and construct chromosome-size fragments in silico. The completely redesigned Sc2.0 genome is a highly modiﬁed version of the S. cerevisiaegenome, with a reduction in the size of ∼1.1 million base pairs, which is about 8% of the native genome. In 2017, the Sc2.0 consortium reported the complete synthesis and assembly of 6.5 individual yeast chromosomes in discrete strains and showed consolidation of 2.5 synthetic chromosomes (synIII/synVI/synIXR) into a sin-gle yeast strain that bodes well for the successful completion of the Sc2.0 genome.
Volume 27 | Issue 6