The Seven Stones

New method for writing genomes

by Jason Kelly, MIT Costs for de novo synthesis of DNA fragments (<10kb) are decreasing rapidly, and challenges now lie in the assembly of these fragments into ever-larger sequences. One of the main challenges is the fragility of long DNA sequences during the in vitro steps associated with traditional methods for assembling DNA. In a recent publication, Itaya et al (2007) describe a method for assembling 4-6kb DNA fragments in vivo via incorporation in the B. subtilis genome. They demonstrated this homologous recombination-based method by assembling the 134.5 kb rice chloroplast genome from 31 smaller fragments. The process involves: Cloning 

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