The Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL) provides a community standard for communicating designs in synthetic biology

Michal Galdzicki, Kevin P. Clancy, Ernst Oberortner, Matthew Pocock, Jacqueline Y. Quinn, Cesar A. Rodriguez, Nicholas Roehner, Mandy L. Wilson, Laura Adam, J. Christopher Anderson, Bryan A. Bartley, Jacob Beal, Deepak Chandran, Joanna Chen, Douglas Densmore, Drew Endy, Raik Grünberg, Jennifer Hallinan, Nathan J. Hillson, Jeffrey D. JohnsonAllan Kuchinsky, Matthew Lux, Goksel Misirli, Jean Peccoud, Hector A. Plahar, Evren Sirin, Guy Bart Stan, Alan Villalobos, Anil Wipat, John H. Gennari, Chris J. Myers, Herbert M. Sauro*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

189 Citations (Scopus)


The re-use of previously validated designs is critical to the evolution of synthetic biology from a research discipline to an engineering practice. Here we describe the Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL), a proposed data standard for exchanging designs within the synthetic biology community. SBOL represents synthetic biology designs in a community-driven, formalized format for exchange between software tools, research groups and commercial service providers. The SBOL Developers Group has implemented SBOL as an XML/RDF serialization and provides software libraries and specification documentation to help developers implement SBOL in their own software. We describe early successes, including a demonstration of the utility of SBOL for information exchange between several different software tools and repositories from both academic and industrial partners. As a community-driven standard, SBOL will be updated as synthetic biology evolves to provide specific capabilities for different aspects of the synthetic biology workflow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-550
Number of pages6
JournalNature Biotechnology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'The Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL) provides a community standard for communicating designs in synthetic biology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this