A designer synthetic chromosome fragment functions in moss


Prof. Yuling Jiao published a paper in Nature Plants with his collaborators.

Rapid advances in DNA synthesis techniques have enabled the assembly and engineering of viral and microbial genomes, presenting new opportunities for synthetic genomics in multicellular eukaryotic organisms. These organisms, characterized by larger genomes, abundant transposons and extensive epigenetic regulation, pose unique challenges. Here we report the in vivo assembly of chromosomal fragments in the moss Physcomitrium patens, producing phenotypically virtually wild-type lines in which one-third of the coding region of a chromosomal arm is replaced by redesigned, chemically synthesized fragments. By eliminating 55.8% of a 155 kb endogenous chromosomal region, we substantially simplified the genome without discernible phenotypic effects, implying that many transposable elements may minimally impact growth. We also introduced other sequence modifications, such as PCRTag incorporation, gene locus swapping and stop codon substitution. Despite these substantial changes, the complex epigenetic landscape was normally established, albeit with some three-dimensional conformation alterations. The synthesis of a partial multicellular eukaryotic chromosome arm lays the foundation for the synthetic moss genome project (SynMoss) and paves the way for genome synthesis in multicellular organisms.

Original link: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41477-023-01595-7.