Current opinion in biotechnology. 2012-10-01; 23.5: 659-65.

Synthetic genomics: potential and limitations

Montague MG, Lartigue C, Vashee S

PMID: 22342755


Technologies to synthetically assemble chromosome sized fragments of DNA as well as to enable making thousands of simultaneous changes to existing genomes are now available. These capacities are collectively termed synthetic genomics. The implications of synthetic genomics extend beyond the limited pathway and gene engineering of the past to include the engineering or whole metabolisms, regulatory networks, and even ecosystems. However, in order for those potentials to be met, certain limitations and barriers must be overcome. These barriers no longer include DNA modification and assembly, but instead are based in the limited organisms that many synthetic genomics methods function in, and the limited software for designing custom genomic sequences.