Engineering and evaluation of synthetic routes for generating valuable compounds require accurate and cost-effective de novo synthesis of genetic pathways. In a recent study, scientists present an economical and streamlined de novo DNA synthesis approach for engineering a synthetic pathway with microchip-synthesized oligonucleotides (OligoMix).

The process integrates entire oligo pool amplification, error-removal, and assembly of long DNA molecules. Researchers utilized this method to construct a functional lycopene biosynthetic pathway (11.9 kb encoding 10 genes) in Escherichia coli using a highly error-prone microchip-synthesized oligo pool (479 oligos) without pre-purification, and the error-frequency was reduced from 14.25/kb to 0.53/kb.

This low-equipment-dependent and cost-effective method can be widely applied for rapid synthesis of biosynthetic pathways in general molecular biology laboratories.


W. Wan, M. Lu, D. Wang, X. Gao, J. Hong (2018) High-fidelity de novo synthesis of pathways using microchip-synthesized oligonucleotides and general molecular biology equipment Scientific Reports doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-06428-0 [article]

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