Scientific revolution, especially in the biological processes, has been in progress for ages. Scientists have invested resources, technology, and time, to discover better and easier ways to carry out gene synthesis. Since the discovery of gene synthesis in the 1970s through cutting and pasting DNA, there has been tremendous progress and revolution in gene synthesis.
The first inventions and methods used in gene synthesis were expensive, limited to specific organisms, and time-consuming. Therefore, easy and convenient ways were required to help in the process. If you are a scientist or a researcher, it would be vital to understand this revolution and the recent method and techniques used in gene synthesis.
The following article will examine a general overview of the gene synthesis revolution.
What Is Gene Synthesis?
Gene synthesis is a process of synthesizing DNA strands chemically. Contrary to DNA replication which happens in the polymerase chain reaction or cells, gene synthesis doesn’t need template strands. However, in gene synthesis, templates are created through a stepwise and continuous addition of nucleotides to a single-stranded molecule.
Gene synthesis is an essential technology in synthetic biology. You can synthesize a DNA sequence, including non-existing sequences in nature. Additionally, it’s possible to clone synthetic DNA into expression vectors which can be used for all recombinant or natural DNA procedures. Synthetic DNA is majorly used for all types of biological studies, such as the role of nucleic acid, including protein encoding, regulation of gene expression in the nucleus, building biofilms, and mediating cell-to-cell communication.
Gene Synthesis Technological Revolution
Gene synthesis has experienced a tremendous technological revolution, which has improved biological research. Initially, scientists only used a classical technique to manipulate a single gene. However, technological advancement allows you to simultaneously reprogram or design all cells and genomes. Additionally, you can quickly identify newly synthesized genomes to improve the development of vaccines.
In addition, with the technological advancement in gene synthesis, it’s now possible to produce sustainable biofuels, which are essential for fighting cancer. Further, you can use the technology to improve crop production and decrease the prevalence of widespread pests and plant diseases. Synthetic genomes and artificial cells can now be created to further research.
De novo chemical synthesis of DNA has also been revolutionized and improved to allow an efficient and quick process. The difference between traditional molecular cloning and the de novo chemical synthesis of DNA is that the latter does not require any template. With modern genesis synthesis, you have the power to specify the exact needed sequence. Additionally, the modern gene synthesis technique is simple, quick, and economical compared to molecular cloning and mutagenesis.
Another technological revolution in gene synthesis is the improvement of short oligonucleotides. This allows the synthesis of long sequences and whole genomes.
Why Gene Synthesis Is an Important Tool in Biology Research Revolution
Gene synthesis opens new doors and firm foundations in the synthetic biology research field. In addition, it has sped up biological research in most fields by providing an efficient and convenient technique compared to traditional molecular techniques.
When carrying out studies where the DNA template is unavailable, you can comfortably use the de novo gene synthesis as a perfect alternative. In addition, it has contributed to a cost-effective method that has eased and accelerated biological research, especially when carrying out long and multiple processes.
Gene Synthesis and Molecular Cloning
You can combine molecular cloning with gene synthesis to prepare all synthetic products for your research application. There are several advantages related to this combination; one, you will protect the DNA cells against any degradation during storage; secondly, it facilitates and enhances sequence verification, allows clonal amplification during the transformation, and allows shuttling of the synthetic genes.
Basic Steps in Gene Synthesis
Sequence Optimization and Oligo Design
After you have selected the gene you need, you have to design the sequence that should be synthesized. You should consider the end application when choosing the gene and designing the sequence.
Once done with sequencing, you will have to do a sequence analysis to determine the most appropriate way to divide the whole gene into fragments.
You can do oligo synthesis through phosphoramidite chemistry which applies modified nucleotides. This efficient method ensures that all your nucleotides are precisely assembled.
Several methods of assembling oligos into complete genes or larger genome building blocks have been developed and successfully applied. For short sequences, you can use polymerase or ligase-based in vitro assembly techniques, while you can apply vivo recombination-based methods for longer sequences.
Sequence Verification and Error Correction
Possible errors are likely to arise in every step of gene synthesis. Therefore, the synthetic sequence needs to be verified and corrected before use. For example, you should identify and remove or correct any sequence harboring mutations.
Gene Synthesis progressively revolves, leading to new inventions and technological advancement to enhance the process. The Gene synthesis revolution has to strengthen and improve the knowledge of DNA, its functions, and how it can be manipulated for other particular purposes. It has also significantly boosted the gene synthesis process while at the same time reducing the total cost.