Wednesday, April 3, 2013
4:00 pm
Beckman Institute Auditorium

Special Bioengineering Seminar

Synthetic Yeast Genomes
"Patrick" Yizhi Cai, Autodesk Distinguished Scholar, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Chancellor's Fellow & Group Leader, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

Abstract:

The Synthetic Yeast genome project, or Sc2.0 (www.syntheticyeast.org) aims to design, construct, and replace the native 12Mb genome of Saccharomyces cerevisiae with a fully synthetic verson.  Sc2.0 chromosomes encode a myriad of designer changes.  First, to improve genomic stability, destabilizing elements such as transposons and tRNA genes are removed rom the synthetic genome.  Second, synonymously recorded sequences called PCRtags permit encryption and tracking on the synthetic DNA. Finally, to enable downstream genetic flexibility, Sc2.0 encodes an inducible evolution system called SCRaMbLE (Synthetic Chromosome Rearrangement and Modification by LoxP-mediated Evolution) that can generate combinatorial genetic diversity on command. To date ~10% of the genome has been synthesized and we have powered a semi-synthetic yeast entirely dependent on multiple synthetic chromosome arms designed to our specifications.  Software and experimental infrastructure developed to facilitate Sc2.0 genome design and construction are applicable to new projects ranging from single gene/pathway design to synthesizing artificial chromosomes. Sc2.0 international partners include Imperial College London, Edinburgh University (UK); Tsinghua University, Tianjin University, GenScript, BGI (China); Pondicherry University, IGIB (India. Sc2.0 has potential to revolutionize the future of genome structure-function analysis.

Refreshments will be served at 3:40 PM in the lobby.

Host: Prof. Erik Winfree, winfree@caltech.edu

Contact Linda Scott scottl@caltech.edu at 626-395-4389
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