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Synthetic Biology underpins advances in the bioeconomy

Biological systems - including the simplest cells - exhibit a broad range of functions to thrive in their environment. Research in the Imperial College Centre for Synthetic Biology is focused on the possibility of engineering the underlying biochemical processes to solve many of the challenges facing society, from healthcare to sustainable energy. In particular, we model, analyse, design and build biological and biochemical systems in living cells and/or in cell extracts, both exploring and enhancing the engineering potential of biology. 

As part of our research we develop novel methods to accelerate the celebrated Design-Build-Test-Learn synthetic biology cycle. As such research in the Centre for Synthetic Biology highly multi- and interdisciplinary covering computational modelling and machine learning approaches; automated platform development and genetic circuit engineering ; multi-cellular and multi-organismal interactions, including gene drive and genome engineering; metabolic engineering; in vitro/cell-free synthetic biology; engineered phages and directed evolution; and biomimetics, biomaterials and biological engineering.



BibTex format

author = {Moore, SJ and lai, H-E and Kelwick, R and Mei, S and Bell, DJ and Polizzi, K and Freemont, PS},
doi = {10.1021/acssynbio.6b00031},
journal = {ACS Synthetic Biology},
pages = {1059--1069},
title = {EcoFlex - a multifunctional MoClo kit for E. coli synthetic biology},
url = {},
volume = {5},
year = {2016}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - Golden Gate cloning is a prominent DNA assembly tool in synthetic biology for the assembly of plasmid constructs often used in combinatorial pathway optimisation, with a number of assembly kits developed specifically for yeast and plant-based expression. However, its use for synthetic biology in commonly used bacterial systems such as Escherichia coli, has surprisingly been overlooked. Here, we introduce EcoFlex a simplified modular package of DNA parts for a variety of applications in E. coli, cell-free protein synthesis, protein purification and hierarchical assembly of transcription units based on the MoClo assembly standard. The kit features a library of constitutive promoters, T7 expression, RBS strength variants, synthetic terminators, protein purification tags and fluorescence proteins. We validate EcoFlex by assembling a 68-part containing (20 genes) plasmid (31 kb), characterise in vivo and in vitro library parts, and perform combinatorial pathway assembly, using pooled libraries of either fluorescent proteins or the biosynthetic genes for the antimicrobial pigment violacein as a proof-of-concept. To minimise pathway screening, we also introduce a secondary module design site to simplify MoClo pathway optimisation. In summary, EcoFlex provides a standardised and multifunctional kit for a variety of applications in E. coli synthetic biology.
AU - Moore,SJ
AU - lai,H-E
AU - Kelwick,R
AU - Mei,S
AU - Bell,DJ
AU - Polizzi,K
AU - Freemont,PS
DO - 10.1021/acssynbio.6b00031
EP - 1069
PY - 2016///
SN - 2161-5063
SP - 1059
TI - EcoFlex - a multifunctional MoClo kit for E. coli synthetic biology
T2 - ACS Synthetic Biology
UR -
UR -
VL - 5
ER -