Synthetic Biology Bacteria

The World’s Smallest Known Synthetic Organism

In 2010 John Craig Venter and his colleagues reported a creation of the first bacterial cell containing a completely synthesized genome. It was a 1.08-mega-base pair Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn1.0 genome and it became the very first citizen of synthetic biology.

Later on, they began adjusting and modifying the code to get the smallest possible sequence that was able to sustain life. They succeeded in creating Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn3.0 with only 473 genes, which became the world’s smallest known synthetic organism.

Understanding the genome of even the tiniest organisms could have huge implications for understanding our own and enabling us to achieve medical breakthroughs.

In our Splice Summer Edition, we are featuring the video “Can We Use Genetics To Build NEW Species?” where Jonathan Strickland explains why it is so important to understand the genome of such organisms as Mycoplasma mycoides. Enjoy!


Blazka Orel, MSc, BioSistemika LLC

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