Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

JCVI Researchers Clone and Engineer Bacterial Genomes in Yeast and Transplant Genomes Back into Bacterial Cells

Published: Friday, August 21, 2009
Last Updated: Friday, August 21, 2009
Bookmark and Share
New methods allow for engineering of bacterial chromosomes and the creation of modified bacterial species; should also play key role in boot up of synthetic cell.

Researchers at the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), a not-for-profit genomic research organization, published results today describing new methods in which the entire bacterial genome from Mycoplasma mycoides was cloned in a yeast cell by adding yeast centromeric plasmid sequence to the bacterial chromosome and modified it in yeast using yeast genetic systems.

This modified bacterial chromosome was then isolated from yeast and transplanted into a related species of bacteria, Mycoplasma capricolum, to create a new type of M. mycoides cell. This is the first time that genomes have been transferred between branches of life-from a prokaryote to eukaryote and back to a prokaryote. The research was published by Carole Lartigue et al in Science Express.

Hamilton Smith, M.D., one of the leaders of the JCVI team said, “I believe this work has important implications in better understanding the fundamentals of biology to enable the final stages of our work in creating and booting up a synthetic genome. This is possibly one of the most important new findings in the field of synthetic genomics.”

The research published was made possible by previous breakthroughs at JCVI. In 2007 the team published results from the transplantation of the native M. mycoides genome into the M. capricolum cell which resulted in the M. capricolum cell being transformed into M. mycoides. This work established the notion that DNA is the software of life and that it is the DNA that dictates the cell phenotype.

In 2008 the same team reported on the construction of the first synthetic bacterial genome by assembling DNA fragments made from the four chemicals of life-ACGT. The final assembly of DNA fragments into the whole genome was performed in yeast by making use of the yeast genetic systems. However, when the team attempted to transplant the synthetic bacterial genome out of yeast into a recipient bacterial cell, all the experiments failed.

The researchers had previously established that no proteins were required for chromosome transplantations, however they reasoned that DNA methylation might be required for transplantation. When the chromosome was isolated direct from the bacterial cells it was likely already methylated and therefore transplantable due to it being protected from the cells restriction enzymes.

In this study, the team began by cloning the native M. mycoides genomeinto yeast by adding a yeast centromere to the bacterial genome. This is the first time a native bacterial genome has been grown successfully in yeast. Specific methylase enzymes were isolated from M. mycoides and used to methylate the M. mycoides genome isolated from yeast. When the DNA was methylated the chromosome was able to be successfully transplanted into a wild type species of M. capricolum. However, if the DNA was not first methylated the transplant experiments were not successful.

To prove that the restriction enzymes in the M. capricolum cell were responsible for the destruction of the transplanted genome the team removed the restriction enzyme genes from the M. capricolum genome. When genome transplantations were performed using the restriction enzyme minus recipient cells, all the genome transplantations worked regardless of if the DNA was methylated or not.

“The ability to modify bacterial genomes in yeast is an important advance that extends yeast genetic tools to bacteria.  If this is extendable to other bacteria we believe that these methods may be used in general laboratory practice to modify organisms,” said Sanjay Vashee, Ph.D., JCVI researcher and corresponding author on the paper.

The team now has a complete cycle of cloning a bacterial genome in yeast, modifying the bacterial genome as though it were a yeast chromosome and transplanting the genome back into a recipient bacterial cell to create a new bacterial strain. These new methods and knowledge should allow the team to now transplant and boot up the synthetic bacterial genome successfully.

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,800+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

JCVI Awarded 5 Year, Approximately $25 Million NIH Grant to Establish GCID
Center will utilize next generation genomic sequencing and analysis technologies to better understand infectious disease pathogens, and create resource for the research community.
Saturday, June 07, 2014
137 Marine Microbial Genomes from Cultured Samples are Sequenced
Research gives clearer picture of inhabitants living in ocean surface and gleans insights into how they adapt and survive.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Castor Bean Genome Published by Research Team Including Scientists from the Venter Institute
A research team published the sequence and analysis of the castor bean genome in Nature Biotechnology.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Venter Institute Scientists Sequence 178 Microbial Reference Genomes Associated with the Human Body
Consortium members of the NIH's Human Microbiome project finds greater microbial diversity in human microbiome than previously known.
Friday, May 28, 2010
J. Craig Venter Institute Researchers Publish Significant Advance in Genome Assembly Technology
Researchers publish paper describing a significant advance in genome assembly in which the team can now assemble the whole bacterial genome in one step.
Monday, December 08, 2008
First Individual Diploid Human Genome Published by Researchers at J. Craig Venter Institute
Sequence reveals that human to human variation is substantially greater than earlier estimates.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
JCVI Scientists Publish First Bacterial Genome Transplantation Changing One Species to Another
Research is important step in further advancing field of synthetic genomics
Thursday, June 28, 2007
J. Craig Venter Institute Announces Management Team and Organizational Structure
The Institute will no longer be organized under the two research divisions TIGR and TCAG, but will now encompass an administrative team and several research groups.
Friday, April 13, 2007
CEO of a Newly Expanded J. Craig Venter Institute to Speak at SEQNSYNTECH
Craig Venter became president and CEO of a newly expanded J. Craig Venter Institute after it absorbed the Institute for Genomic Research and the J. Craig Venter Science Foundation.
Monday, October 16, 2006
Scientific News
New Class of RNA Tumor Suppressors Identified
Two short, “housekeeping” RNA molecules block cancer growth by binding to an important cancer-associated protein called KRAS. More than a quarter of all human cancers are missing these RNAs.
Biologists Induce Flatworms to Grow Heads and Brains of Other Species
Findings shed light on role of a new kind of epigenetic signaling in evolution, could yield clues for understanding birth defects and regeneration.
Turning up the Tap on Microbes Leads to Better Protein Patenting
Mining millions of proteins could become faster and easier with a new technique that may also transform the enzyme-catalyst industry, according to University of California, Davis, researchers.
Mathematical Model Forecasts the Path of Breast Cancer
Chances of survival depend on which organs breast cancer tumors colonize first.
Exploring the Causes of Cancer
Queen's research to understand the regulation of a cell surface protein involved in cancer.
Ancient Viral Molecules Essential for Human Development
Genetic material from ancient viral infections is critical to human development, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Tardigrade's Are DNA Master Thieves
Tardigrades, nearly microscopic animals that can survive the harshest of environments, including outer space, hold the record for the animal that has the most foreign DNA.
The Secret Behind the Power of Bacterial Sex
Migration between different communities of bacteria is the key to the type of gene transfer that can lead to the spread of traits such as antibiotic resistance, according to researchers at Oxford University.
Farming’s in Their DNA
Ancient genomes reveal natural selection in action.
GMO Food Animals Should be Judged by Product, Not Process
In a world with a burgeoning demand for meat, milk and eggs, regulatory policies around the use of biotechnologies in agriculture need to be based on the safety and attributes of those foods rather than on the methods used to produce them, says a UC Davis animal scientist.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,800+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,000+ scientific videos