Biologists took mycoplasma, removed its DNA and placed a code of 473 genes into its cell. The code was previously written on a computer and synthesized.
Microbiologists at the Venter Institute in the United States have created a synthetic cell of a primitive type and found that it grows and also divides into a minimum number of genes.
The study began back in 2010. Biologists took mycoplasma, removed its DNA and placed a code of 473 genes into its cell. The code was previously written on a computer and synthesized. Scientists named the resulting cyber-organism JCVI-syn1.0.
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In mycoplasma, there were very small, 0.15-0.20 microns, cells in diameter. Researchers have tried to shrink the genome even further.
They succeeded in 2015. The gene was simplified to the minimum, while it was dividing abnormally.
To stabilize the situation, 19 genes were added to JCVI-syn1.0. This allowed JCVI-syn1.0 to divide normally, creating uniform spheres.
“This result underscores the polygenic nature of cell division and morphology in a genomically minimal cell,” the study said.
Scientists also note that of the 19 added genes, seven were necessary for normal cell division. To date, only two of them have been studied: ftsZ and sepF. The functions of the rest are still unknown to science.