Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fosmid cloning enables new techniques in synthetic biology

In a recent functional genomics study, Sommer et al. cite the use of the CopyControl™ Fosmid Library Production Kit to create a library from plant biomass DNA. Plant biomass is being explored for use in new biofuel development, in an effort to discover genetic functionalities that will allow growth improvement in key microbes by overcoming toxic/inhibitory compounds that are byproducts of biofuel conversions. Clones harboring these fosmids were tested against seven known growth inhibitors from three chemical groups (alcohols, aldehydes, and organic acids). The authors located genetic functionalities on two fosmids that improved the growth of the E. coli host cell by 5.7- and 6.9-fold in the presence of these inhibitory compounds. They then produced chimeric clones that contained all of the desired chemical functionalities into a three-gene construct that confers improved tolerance for these inhibitor compounds. The information gleaned from this study will be useful for scientists who wish to develop strains of bacteria that can generate new biofuels more efficiently and for longer periods of time.

Other Epicentre products cited include the End-It™ DNA End-Repair Kit for end-polishing of size-selected, gel-purified DNA; and the FosmidMAX™ DNA Purification Kit to purify DNA from the metagenomic fosmid clones.

ResearchBlogging.orgSommer, M. et al. (2010). A functional metagenomic approach for expanding the synthetic biology toolbox for biomass conversion Molecular Systems Biology, 6 DOI: 10.1038/msb.2010.16

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