Yeast 2.0—connecting the dots in the construction of the world's first functional synthetic eukaryotic genome

I. S. Pretorius, J. D. Boeke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Historians of the future may well describe 2018 as the year that the world's first functional synthetic eukaryotic genome became a reality. Without the benefit of hindsight, it might be hard to completely grasp the long-term significance of a breakthrough moment in the history of science like this. The role of synthetic biology in the imminent birth of a budding Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast cell carrying 16 man-made chromosomes causes the world of science to teeter on the threshold of a future-defining scientific frontier. The genome-engineering tools and technologies currently being developed to produce the ultimate yeast genome will irreversibly connect the dots between our improved understanding of the fundamentals of a complex cell containing its DNA in a specialised nucleus and the application of bioengineered eukaryotes designed for advanced biomanufacturing of beneficial products. By joining up the dots between the findings and learnings from the international Synthetic Yeast Genome project (known as the Yeast 2.0 or Sc2.0 project) and concurrent advancements in biodesign tools and smart data-intensive technologies, a future world powered by a thriving bioeconomy seems realistic. This global project demonstrates how a collaborative network of dot connectors-driven by a tinkerer's indomitable curiosity to understand how things work inside a eukaryotic cell-are using cutting-edge biodesign concepts and synthetic biology tools to advance science and to positively frame human futures (i.e. improved quality of life) in a planetary context (i.e. a sustainable environment). Explorations such as this have a rich history of resulting in unexpected discoveries and unanticipated applications for the benefit of people and planet. However, we must learn from past explorations into controversial futuristic sciences and ensure that researchers at the forefront of an emerging science such as synthetic biology remain connected to all stakeholders' concerns about the biosafety, bioethics and regulatory aspects of their pioneering work. This article presents a shared vision of constructing a synthetic eukaryotic genome in a safe model organism by using novel concepts and advanced technologies. This multidisciplinary and collaborative project is conducted under a sound governance structure that does not only respect the scientific achievements and lessons from the past, but that is also focussed on leading the present and helping to secure a brighter future for all.

LanguageEnglish
Article numberfoy032
Pages1-15
Number of pages15
JournalFEMS Yeast Research
Volume18
Issue number4
Early online date16 Mar 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018

Fingerprint

Synthetic Biology
Yeasts
Genome
Technology
Planets
Bioethics
Exploratory Behavior
Eukaryotic Cells
Eukaryota
Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Chromosomes
History
Quality of Life
Research Personnel
Learning
Parturition
DNA

Keywords

  • Biodesign
  • Bioengineering
  • Genome engineering
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • Sc2.0
  • Synthetic biology
  • Synthetic chromosomes
  • Synthetic genome
  • Yeast 2.0

Cite this

@article{7a732473404947c29d0b68107a5237ce,
title = "Yeast 2.0—connecting the dots in the construction of the world's first functional synthetic eukaryotic genome",
abstract = "Historians of the future may well describe 2018 as the year that the world's first functional synthetic eukaryotic genome became a reality. Without the benefit of hindsight, it might be hard to completely grasp the long-term significance of a breakthrough moment in the history of science like this. The role of synthetic biology in the imminent birth of a budding Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast cell carrying 16 man-made chromosomes causes the world of science to teeter on the threshold of a future-defining scientific frontier. The genome-engineering tools and technologies currently being developed to produce the ultimate yeast genome will irreversibly connect the dots between our improved understanding of the fundamentals of a complex cell containing its DNA in a specialised nucleus and the application of bioengineered eukaryotes designed for advanced biomanufacturing of beneficial products. By joining up the dots between the findings and learnings from the international Synthetic Yeast Genome project (known as the Yeast 2.0 or Sc2.0 project) and concurrent advancements in biodesign tools and smart data-intensive technologies, a future world powered by a thriving bioeconomy seems realistic. This global project demonstrates how a collaborative network of dot connectors-driven by a tinkerer's indomitable curiosity to understand how things work inside a eukaryotic cell-are using cutting-edge biodesign concepts and synthetic biology tools to advance science and to positively frame human futures (i.e. improved quality of life) in a planetary context (i.e. a sustainable environment). Explorations such as this have a rich history of resulting in unexpected discoveries and unanticipated applications for the benefit of people and planet. However, we must learn from past explorations into controversial futuristic sciences and ensure that researchers at the forefront of an emerging science such as synthetic biology remain connected to all stakeholders' concerns about the biosafety, bioethics and regulatory aspects of their pioneering work. This article presents a shared vision of constructing a synthetic eukaryotic genome in a safe model organism by using novel concepts and advanced technologies. This multidisciplinary and collaborative project is conducted under a sound governance structure that does not only respect the scientific achievements and lessons from the past, but that is also focussed on leading the present and helping to secure a brighter future for all.",
keywords = "Biodesign, Bioengineering, Genome engineering, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Sc2.0, Synthetic biology, Synthetic chromosomes, Synthetic genome, Yeast 2.0",
author = "Pretorius, {I. S.} and Boeke, {J. D.}",
year = "2018",
month = "6",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1093/femsyr/foy032",
language = "English",
volume = "18",
pages = "1--15",
journal = "FEMS Yeast Research",
issn = "1567-1356",
publisher = "Elsevier",
number = "4",

}

Yeast 2.0—connecting the dots in the construction of the world's first functional synthetic eukaryotic genome. / Pretorius, I. S.; Boeke, J. D.

In: FEMS Yeast Research, Vol. 18, No. 4, foy032, 01.06.2018, p. 1-15.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Yeast 2.0—connecting the dots in the construction of the world's first functional synthetic eukaryotic genome

AU - Pretorius, I. S.

AU - Boeke, J. D.

PY - 2018/6/1

Y1 - 2018/6/1

N2 - Historians of the future may well describe 2018 as the year that the world's first functional synthetic eukaryotic genome became a reality. Without the benefit of hindsight, it might be hard to completely grasp the long-term significance of a breakthrough moment in the history of science like this. The role of synthetic biology in the imminent birth of a budding Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast cell carrying 16 man-made chromosomes causes the world of science to teeter on the threshold of a future-defining scientific frontier. The genome-engineering tools and technologies currently being developed to produce the ultimate yeast genome will irreversibly connect the dots between our improved understanding of the fundamentals of a complex cell containing its DNA in a specialised nucleus and the application of bioengineered eukaryotes designed for advanced biomanufacturing of beneficial products. By joining up the dots between the findings and learnings from the international Synthetic Yeast Genome project (known as the Yeast 2.0 or Sc2.0 project) and concurrent advancements in biodesign tools and smart data-intensive technologies, a future world powered by a thriving bioeconomy seems realistic. This global project demonstrates how a collaborative network of dot connectors-driven by a tinkerer's indomitable curiosity to understand how things work inside a eukaryotic cell-are using cutting-edge biodesign concepts and synthetic biology tools to advance science and to positively frame human futures (i.e. improved quality of life) in a planetary context (i.e. a sustainable environment). Explorations such as this have a rich history of resulting in unexpected discoveries and unanticipated applications for the benefit of people and planet. However, we must learn from past explorations into controversial futuristic sciences and ensure that researchers at the forefront of an emerging science such as synthetic biology remain connected to all stakeholders' concerns about the biosafety, bioethics and regulatory aspects of their pioneering work. This article presents a shared vision of constructing a synthetic eukaryotic genome in a safe model organism by using novel concepts and advanced technologies. This multidisciplinary and collaborative project is conducted under a sound governance structure that does not only respect the scientific achievements and lessons from the past, but that is also focussed on leading the present and helping to secure a brighter future for all.

AB - Historians of the future may well describe 2018 as the year that the world's first functional synthetic eukaryotic genome became a reality. Without the benefit of hindsight, it might be hard to completely grasp the long-term significance of a breakthrough moment in the history of science like this. The role of synthetic biology in the imminent birth of a budding Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast cell carrying 16 man-made chromosomes causes the world of science to teeter on the threshold of a future-defining scientific frontier. The genome-engineering tools and technologies currently being developed to produce the ultimate yeast genome will irreversibly connect the dots between our improved understanding of the fundamentals of a complex cell containing its DNA in a specialised nucleus and the application of bioengineered eukaryotes designed for advanced biomanufacturing of beneficial products. By joining up the dots between the findings and learnings from the international Synthetic Yeast Genome project (known as the Yeast 2.0 or Sc2.0 project) and concurrent advancements in biodesign tools and smart data-intensive technologies, a future world powered by a thriving bioeconomy seems realistic. This global project demonstrates how a collaborative network of dot connectors-driven by a tinkerer's indomitable curiosity to understand how things work inside a eukaryotic cell-are using cutting-edge biodesign concepts and synthetic biology tools to advance science and to positively frame human futures (i.e. improved quality of life) in a planetary context (i.e. a sustainable environment). Explorations such as this have a rich history of resulting in unexpected discoveries and unanticipated applications for the benefit of people and planet. However, we must learn from past explorations into controversial futuristic sciences and ensure that researchers at the forefront of an emerging science such as synthetic biology remain connected to all stakeholders' concerns about the biosafety, bioethics and regulatory aspects of their pioneering work. This article presents a shared vision of constructing a synthetic eukaryotic genome in a safe model organism by using novel concepts and advanced technologies. This multidisciplinary and collaborative project is conducted under a sound governance structure that does not only respect the scientific achievements and lessons from the past, but that is also focussed on leading the present and helping to secure a brighter future for all.

KW - Biodesign

KW - Bioengineering

KW - Genome engineering

KW - Saccharomyces cerevisiae

KW - Sc2.0

KW - Synthetic biology

KW - Synthetic chromosomes

KW - Synthetic genome

KW - Yeast 2.0

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85049960812&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1093/femsyr/foy032

DO - 10.1093/femsyr/foy032

M3 - Article

VL - 18

SP - 1

EP - 15

JO - FEMS Yeast Research

T2 - FEMS Yeast Research

JF - FEMS Yeast Research

SN - 1567-1356

IS - 4

M1 - foy032

ER -