Update on designing and building minimal cells

Michael C. Jewett*, Anthony C. Forster

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations

Abstract

Minimal cells comprise only the genes and biomolecular machinery necessary for basic life. Synthesizing minimal and minimized cells will improve understanding of core biology, enhance development of biotechnology strains of bacteria, and enable evolutionary optimization of natural and unnatural biopolymers. Design and construction of minimal cells is proceeding in two different directions: 'top-down' reduction of bacterial genomes in vivo and 'bottom-up' integration of DNA/RNA/protein/membrane syntheses in vitro. Major progress in the past 5 years has occurred in synthetic genomics, minimization of the Escherichia coli genome, sequencing of minimal bacterial endosymbionts, identification of essential genes, and integration of biochemical systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)697-703
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Biotechnology
Volume21
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering

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