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Dec 21, 2018

Seminar - Building and SCRaMbLEing synthetic chromosomes (Speaker: Professor Patrick Yizhi Cai)

Professor Patrick Yizhi Cai
Visiting Research Professor, School of Biomedical Sciences, HKU
Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, University of Manchester, UK

Date: Friday, 21-December-2018
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Venue: Seminar Room 4, G/F, Laboratory Block, Faculty of Medicine Building
21 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong

The Synthetic Yeast genome project, or Sc2.0 (, aims to design, construct, and replace the native 12Mb genome of Saccharomyces cerevisiae with a fully synthetic version. Sc2.0 chromosomes encode a myriad of designer changes. First, to improve genomic stability, destabilizing elements such as transposons and tRNA genes are removed from the synthetic genome. Second, synonymously recoded sequences called PCRtags permit encryption and tracking of the synthetic DNA. Finally, to enable downstream genetic flexibility, Sc2.0 encodes an inducible evolution system called SCRaMbLE (Synthetic Chromosome Rearrangement and Modification by LoxP-mediated Evolution) that can generate combinatorial genetic diversity on command.

The focus of this seminar will be on the design and construction of the tRNA neochromosome, as well as genome wide evolution of the synthetic yeast using the SCRaMbLE system.