JCVI: Large-scale Recoding of a Bacterial Genome by Iterative Recombineering of Synthetic DNA.
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Lau YH, Stirling F, Kuo J, Karrenbelt MAP, Chan YA, Riesselman A, Horton CA, Schäfer E, Lips D, Weinstock MT, Gibson DG, Way JC, Silver PA

Large-scale Recoding of a Bacterial Genome by Iterative Recombineering of Synthetic DNA.

Nucleic Acids Research. 2017 May 12;

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The ability to rewrite large stretches of genomic DNA enables the creation of new organisms with customized functions. However, few methods currently exist for accumulating such widespread genomic changes in a single organism. In this study, we demonstrate a rapid approach for rewriting bacterial genomes with modified synthetic DNA. We recode 200 kb of the Salmonella typhimurium LT2 genome through a process we term SIRCAS (stepwise integration of rolling circle amplified segments), towards constructing an attenuated and genetically isolated bacterial chassis. The SIRCAS process involves direct iterative recombineering of 10-25 kb synthetic DNA constructs which are assembled in yeast and amplified by rolling circle amplification. Using SIRCAS, we create a Salmonella with 1557 synonymous leucine codon replacements across 176 genes, the largest number of cumulative recoding changes in a single bacterial strain to date. We demonstrate reproducibility over sixteen two-day cycles of integration and parallelization for hierarchical construction of a synthetic genome by conjugation. The resulting recoded strain grows at a similar rate to the wild-type strain and does not exhibit any major growth defects. This work is the first instance of synthetic bacterial recoding beyond the Escherichia coli genome, and reveals that Salmonella is remarkably amenable to genome-scale modification.