Restarting a Microbial Genome after its Modification in Yeast


Many microbes grow extremely slowly in their native environments, and because of this have been difficult to adapt for DOE missions through genetic engineering. A team at the Venter Institute has developed a solution to this difficult problem. They have shown previously that a small bacterial genome can be transferred into a much larger yeast host and maintained therein. The bacterial genome can then be modified by methods that are routine in the yeast host. The new development demonstrates that the engineered genome can be transferred back into a bacterial shell with intact function. This success opens a pathway for modifying the genomes of many bacteria that could be valuable for addressing bioenergy and environmental missions.


Carole Lartigue, et al., “Creating Bacterial Strains from Genomes That Have Been Cloned and Engineered in Yeast,” Science, Volume 325, pages 1693-1696 (September 25, 2009).