Scientists at the J. Craig Venter Institute have synthesised the complete genome of a bacterium which they have named Mycoplasma genitalium JCVI-1.0. The genome is the longest artificial DNA molecule ever created, comprising 582,970 bp. Prior to this, the largest synthetic genome was 32,000 bp. As the next step, the researchers are aspiring to create an organism based entirely on a synthetic genome.
To differentiate the man-made genome from the natural M. genitalium genome, the scientists inserted watermarks consisting of short insertions or substitutions, disrupted the MG408 gene to block pathogenicity and included an antibiotic marker to allow for selection.
The synthetic genome offers potential for various applications including the production of industrially significant materials. One of the many ways to develop the genome to the next stage would probably involve expression studies as well as verification on reversion of pathogenicity.
SynaProbe™ can be used to select gene specific probes to differentiate between the synthetic and naturally occurring bacteria.
To select for a specific MG408 gene, please follow the instructions below: