Nav: Home

Faster genome evolution methods to transform yeast for industrial biotechnology

May 25, 2018

Scientists have created a new way of speeding up the genome evolution of baker's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the same yeast people use for bread and beer production, to develop a synthetic yeast strain that can be transformed on demand for use in various industrial applications.

A research team led by Prof. DAI Junbiao at the Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology (SIAT) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in collaboration with Prof. Patrick Cai from the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, developed a "rapid, efficient and universal" way of transforming yeast at the molecular level using a method called SCRaMbLE (Synthetic Chromosome Rearrangement and Modification by LoxP-mediated Evolution).

This system allows researchers to "reshuffle the deck of cards" for the genome, and customize new yeast strains that can recombine on demand with each other to generate novel genome combinations not found in nature before.

Yeast is a very well understood organism and in a biological sense humans and yeast share a number of similarities in their genetic makeup. Therefore, re-building the yeast genome from the ground up helps us better understand the basis of human life.

"Essentially, we can fast-track the engineering cycle. Usually it would take years to optimize yeast strains for industrial applications, but with SCRaMbLE it could take just two or three days. When you can couple engineering with evolution, you have a very powerful tool in hand," said Prof. Cai.

The SCRaMBLE system not only allows researchers to integrate pathways into the synthetic yeast genome, but the yeast itself can also be evolved to become a better host under stress conditions, providing a unique opportunity for it to evolve, adapt to challenges and perform in extreme conditions, such as extreme temperatures and toxic environments.

This makes it particularly attractive for industrial biotechnology applications, such as the production of advanced medicines. This could have massive implications for the future study of DNA and the mass production of new medicines to treat illnesses such as malaria and tuberculosis (TB).

"One of the most exciting developments in industrial biotechnology is the synergy between synthetic biology and metabolic engineering that is enabling us to produce fuels, novel medicines and high value chemicals, nutrition supplements, anti-tumor molecules and antibiotics," said Prof. Cai. "I hope that the technology we have developed here will go some way to speeding up the process for the bio-manufacture of these important products."
-end-


Chinese Academy of Sciences Headquarters

Related Evolution Articles:

Artificial evolution of an industry
A research team has taken a deep dive into the newly emerging domain of 'forward-looking' business strategies that show firms have far more ability to actively influence the future of their markets than once thought.
Paleontology: Experiments in evolution
A new find from Patagonia sheds light on the evolution of large predatory dinosaurs.
A window into evolution
The C4 cycle supercharges photosynthesis and evolved independently more than 62 times.
Is evolution predictable?
An international team of scientists working with Heliconius butterflies at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama was faced with a mystery: how do pairs of unrelated butterflies from Peru to Costa Rica evolve nearly the same wing-color patterns over and over again?
Predicting evolution
A new method of 're-barcoding' DNA allows scientists to track rapid evolution in yeast.
Insect evolution: Insect evolution
Scientists at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have shown that the incidence of midge and fly larvae in amber is far higher than previously thought.
Evolution of aesthetic dentistry
One of the main goals of dental treatment is to mimic teeth and design smiles in the most natural and aesthetic manner, based on the individual and specific needs of the patient.
An evolution in the understanding of evolution
In an open-source research paper, a UVA Engineering professor and her former Ph.D. student share a new, more accurate method for modeling evolutionary change.
Chemical evolution -- One-pot wonder
Before life, there was RNA: Scientists at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich show how the four different letters of this genetic alphabet could be created from simple precursor molecules on early Earth -- under the same environmental conditions.
Catching evolution in the act
Researchers have produced some of the first evidence that shows that artificial selection and natural selection act on the same genes, a hypothesis predicted by Charles Darwin in 1859.
More Evolution News and Evolution Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Teaching For Better Humans 2.0
More than test scores or good grades–what do kids need for the future? This hour, TED speakers explore how to help children grow into better humans, both during and after this time of crisis. Guests include educators Richard Culatta and Liz Kleinrock, psychologist Thomas Curran, and writer Jacqueline Woodson.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#556 The Power of Friendship
It's 2020 and times are tough. Maybe some of us are learning about social distancing the hard way. Maybe we just are all a little anxious. No matter what, we could probably use a friend. But what is a friend, exactly? And why do we need them so much? This week host Bethany Brookshire speaks with Lydia Denworth, author of the new book "Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond". This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Space
One of the most consistent questions we get at the show is from parents who want to know which episodes are kid-friendly and which aren't. So today, we're releasing a separate feed, Radiolab for Kids. To kick it off, we're rerunning an all-time favorite episode: Space. In the 60's, space exploration was an American obsession. This hour, we chart the path from romance to increasing cynicism. We begin with Ann Druyan, widow of Carl Sagan, with a story about the Voyager expedition, true love, and a golden record that travels through space. And astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson explains the Coepernican Principle, and just how insignificant we are. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.