Construindo ou implantando a planta da vida?

quarta-feira, julho 28, 2010

Biotechnology Journal
Volume 5 Issue 7, Pages 695 - 704

Building the blueprint of life (p 695-704)

Christopher Henry, Ross Overbeek, Rick L. Stevens

Published Online: Jul 14 2010 7:05AM
DOI: 10.1002/biot.201000076

Building the blueprint of life

Christopher Henry, Dr. 1 2 *, Ross Overbeek 3, Rick L. Stevens 1 2

1Mathematics and Computer Science Department, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL, USA
2Computation Institute, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA
3Fellowship for Interpretation of Genomes, Burr Ridge, IL, USA

email: Christopher Henry (

*Correspondence to Christopher Henry, Computation Institute, University of Chicago, 5640 S. Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637, USA

Funded by:  U.S. Department of Energy


Bacillus subtilis • Escherichia coli • Minimal organism • Mycoplasma genitalium • Synthetic biology


With recent breakthroughs in experimental microbiology making it possible to synthesize and implant an entire genome to create a living cell, the challenge of constructing a working blueprint for the first truly minimal synthetic organism is more important than ever. Here we review the significant progress made in the design and creation of a minimal organism. We discuss how comparative genomes, gene essentiality data, naturally small genomes, and metabolic modeling are all being applied to produce a catalogue of the biological functions essential for life. We compare the minimal gene sets from three published sources with functions identified in 13 existing gene essentiality datasets. We examine how genome-scale metabolic models have been applied to design a minimal metabolism for growth in simple and complex media. Additionally, we survey the progress of efforts to construct a minimal organism, either through implementation of combinatorial deletions in Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli or through the synthesis and implantation of synthetic genomes.

Received: 25 May 2010; Revised: 21 June 2010; Accepted: 22 June 2010

DIGITAL OBJECT IDENTIFIER (DOI) 10.1002/biot.201000076



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