October 5, 2016

SGI-DNA Announces Commercial Launch of Syn2.0™ and Syn3.0™ Minimal Synthetic Cells


LA JOLLA, CA – October 5, 2016 – SGI-DNA, a Synthetic Genomics, Inc. company, announced today that it is making Syn2.0™ and Syn3.0™ Minimal Synthetic Cells commercially available to researchers worldwide. With genomes smaller than any known naturally occurring bacterium, Syn2.0™ and Syn3.0™ Minimal Synthetic Cells have many potential research applications including elucidating essential gene function, serving as models for the generation of minimal cells for other organisms, and acting as a chassis for genetic and metabolic pathway manipulation.

The creation of Syn2.0™ and Syn3.0™ Minimal Synthetic Cells was performed by a team of researchers at SGI-DNA’s parent company, Synthetic Genomics, Inc. (SGI), and the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI). Details on the generation and characterization of these cells are described in the journal Science in an article published in March 2016: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/351/6280/aad6253.

Dan Gibson, SGI’s Vice President of DNA Technology, led the project at SGI and said “The development of Syn2.0™ and Syn3.0™ Minimal Synthetic Cells will lead to a deeper understanding of the first principles of cellular life, and the technological advances we made in cell engineering during their development are broadly applicable to improving biotechnology processes.”

Today, Dan Gibson will give a keynote presentation describing the applications of the minimal cells titled “Design and Synthesis of Cells from the Bottom Up” at the SynBioBeta conference in South San Francisco. Dr. Gibson is receiving SynBioBeta’s Foundational Technology Award for inventing a powerful DNA assembly methodology during the development of the first synthetic cell in 2009, Syn1.0™. Gibson Assembly® technology, available through SGI-DNA, has fueled the synthetic biology revolution by empowering scientists to easily build large DNA constructs for molecular biology and cell engineering applications.

Both Syn2.0™ and Syn3.0™ Minimal Synthetic Cells were engineered from a synthetic version of the M. mycoides subspecies capri strain GM12 genome, which was transplanted into a M. capricolum recipient cell. The minimal synthetic cells contain only a limited number of genes required for viability and replication. The Syn2.0™Minimal Cell has a genome of 576 kb with 517 genes. The Syn3.0™Minimal Cell genome is about 8% smaller, consisting of 531 kb with 474 genes. The minimalistic nature of these cells makes them an optimal platform for introducing genetic alterations for targeted analyses. Additionally, 32% of the genes present within these minimal synthetic cells have unknown biological functions, suggesting that the cells are ideally suited for functional genomics studies.

The commercialization of Syn2.0™ and Syn3.0™ Minimal Synthetic Cells augments the growing suite of reagents, services, and instruments offered by SGI-DNA in their ongoing commitment to promote cell engineering and synthetic biology by leveraging technology developed at SGI and the JCVI.

“The creation of these minimal cells is due to the work of an extremely talented team of synthetic biology and cell engineering experts at SGI and JCVI. We are pleased to make the result of these efforts available to the research community.” said Nathan Wood, Senior Vice President of SGI and President, SGI-DNA.

These novel cell lines are only commercially available through SGI-DNA. For more information, see www.sgidna.com/minimalcell.

All products and services are intended for research use only. Not intended for diagnostic or therapeutic uses. Syn2.0™ and Syn3.0™ Minimal Synthetic Cells must be handled according to Biosafety Level 2 (BSL-2) precautions. Shipments in the United States also require proof of a United States Department of Agriculture Veterinary Science Permit. Additional permits may be required for shipment to Hawaii or outside the United States.


SGI-DNA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Synthetic Genomics, Inc. (SGI), is responsible for all commercial aspects of SGI’s synthetic DNA business and focuses on strategic business relationships with both academic and commercial researchers. Building on the scientific advancements and breakthroughs from leading scientists such as J. Craig Venter, Hamilton Smith, Clyde Hutchison, Dan Gibson and their teams, SGI-DNA utilizes unique and proprietary DNA technologies to produce complex synthetic genes and reagents. SGI-DNA also offers the BioXp™ 3200 System, the world’s first DNA printer, in addition to a comprehensive suite of genomic services, including whole genome sequencing, library design, bioinformatics services, and reagent kits to enable synthetic biology.

Media Contact
Mary Canady, Synthetic Genomics