Sharing expert experimental knowledge to expedite design

An SBOL-compliant natural product biosynthesis design tool

© 2017 KAUST

A reference tool specific to metabolic engineering that optimizes processes to make cells produce useful substances gives researchers a common language and will facilitate novel designs.

When building synthetic biological systems, the number of available biological components and interactions is mindboggling. To make them accessible, a global community of researchers developed the Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL), an online reference tool that allows experimental and computational biologists to quickly exchange and reuse designs.

Now, Dr. Hiroyuki Kuwahara and Associate Professor Xin Gao of the KAUST Computational Bioscience Research Center (CBRC) collaborated with co-workers in China and the US1 to take this a step further by developing an SBOL repository of parts specific to metabolic engineering.

“So far, support for SBOL has been lacking in metabolic engineering,” said Kuwahara. “But, since many applications of synthetic biology focus on biosynthesis of high-value natural products, such as biofuels, cosmetics, perfumes and drugs, we thought that a repository of SBOL parts for metabolic engineering would be useful.”

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