Synthetic Genomics team engineers Vmax™, an advantaged next-generation host organism for a wide range of biotechnology applications
Optimized system has potential to replace the workhorse E. coli by increasing speed and efficiency of protein production and cloning
Researchers from Synthetic Genomics, Inc. (SGI) announced today the development and extensive engineering of Vibrio natriegens into a next-generation biotechnology host organism Vmax™. Looking to accelerate the pace of discovery and the path to sustainable solutions, the team set out to develop a novel bacterial host that will drastically reduce the amount of time scientists spend on each experiment and workflow and to enhance productivity of the resulting new host.
After screening for the fastest-growing strain and optimizing methods for introducing DNA into those cells at high efficiencies, the team developed genome engineering tools to improve the performance of Vmax™ for common biotech applications, namely, recombinant protein expression and molecular cloning. These breakthroughs build on expertise gleaned during the creation of the first synthetic cell and first minimal cell and again position SGI at the forefront of synthetic biology.
The paper describing this work is the first peer-reviewed publication of its kind and was published online today in Nature Methods by Matthew T. Weinstock, Eric D. Hesek, Christopher M. Wilson, and Daniel G. Gibson.
“This work provides a game-changing alternative to E. coli, the organism that has been a laboratory staple for decades, and again highlights the rapid and innovative synthetic biology expertise we’ve developed at SGI. We are in the process of designing and synthesizing new Vmax™ cells that operate at even higher efficiencies and productivity as we move toward a next-generation host for protein production,” said Daniel Gibson, Vice President, DNA Technologies, SGI.
Commenting on the origin of the research, Todd Peterson, Chief Technology Officer at SGI stated, “Despite the known drawbacks and shortcomings, scientists have been necessitated to use E. coli as a laboratory host primarily because there have been no suitable alternatives. We deployed our synthetic biology expertise to develop a new host strain that will drastically improve upon the traditional methods and tools.”
Typical cloning projects using E. coli competent cells span several days starting from the time a cloning process is initiated to the time plasmid DNA is prepared. Cloning strategies employing Vmax™ developed by the SGI team shorten that time to as little as one day.
The advancements described by the team set the stage for commercialization of these next-generation cells for cloning and protein expression by SGI in the coming months. Vmax™ is compatible with most kits, reagents, growth medium, vectors, and procedures already entrenched in laboratories. Making these cells commercially available will accelerate the pace of global biotechnological research, making a far-reaching and lasting impact toward genetic exploration and discovery worldwide.
About Synthetic Genomics Inc.
Synthetic Genomics Inc. (SGI), located in La Jolla, CA, is a leader in the fields of synthetic biology and synthetic genomics, advancing genomics to better life. SGI applies its intellectual property in this rapidly evolving field to design and build biological systems solving global sustainability challenges. SGI serves three end markets: research, bioproduction, and applied products. The company’s research offerings, commercialized through its subsidiary SGI-DNA, are revolutionizing science and medicine with next-generation genomic solutions, including the world’s first DNA printer. SGI applies its integrated synthetic biology capabilities to reinvent bio-based production by improving existing production systems and developing novel, optimized production hosts. SGI develops its applied products, typically in partnership with leading global organizations, across a variety of industries including sustainable bio-fuels, sustainable crops, nutritional supplements, vaccines, and transplantable organs.
SGI-DNA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Synthetic Genomics, Inc (SGI), is responsible for all commercial aspects of SGI’s synthetic DNA business and focuses on strategic business relationships with both academic and commercial researchers. Building on the scientific advancements and breakthroughs from leading scientists such as J. Craig Venter, Ham Smith, Clyde Hutchison, Dan Gibson and their teams, SGI-DNA utilizes unique and proprietary DNA technologies to produce complex synthetic genes and reagents. SGI-DNA also offers the BioXp™ 3200 System, the world’s first DNA printer, in addition to a comprehensive suite of genomic services, including whole genome sequencing, library design, bioinformatics services, and reagent kits to enable synthetic biology.