What Makes Gene Synthesis a Better Process of Developing Artificial Genes Compared to Traditional Molecular Cloning?
From the past few years, we have been witnessing the development of science and technology in our day-to-day life. However, do we really know that science has reached so far that it can deliver DNA sequence from labs that can be used for various research purposes? Gene synthesis is a process of studying a gene’s function, modifying it and creating mutated sequence for various research applications such as neuroscience, cancer biology, designing vaccines and many more. Nowadays, gene synthesis is broadly used for conducting crucial research to produce safer and effective DNA vaccines to fight against the fatal coronavirus.
The continuous progress in the science and technology sector has been playing a vital role in providing a better life to humans. With the span of time, every specific development in the field of science has benefitted mankind in various ways, starting from inventing new drugs to designing several advanced healthcare and diagnosis equipment. If we talk about genetics research, gene synthesis is one of the crucial methods which is used by researchers worldwide to focus on various research applications such as therapeutic antibody engineering, vaccine design, plant biology, genetics, biochemistry and many more.
Scientifically, if we define gene synthesis, then it is the synthetic biology method that is used to develop artificial genes within a laboratory setting. In 1972, this process was successfully conducted by Hard Gobind Khorana and associates, and after that, this technology has been becoming popular. Presently, gene synthesis is widely known for its effectiveness and efficiency along with its popularity. The reason behind the popularity of gene synthesis is the allowance of creating long sequences of genes or DNA, nearly about 150 Kb, with high accuracy. This capability of generating large sequences genes provides a powerful scope to study various topics such as generation of synthetic DNA libraries. In addition, the high accuracy and long length of genes have stimulated gene synthesis to be applied in various fields of biological research topics and genetics.
What are the Various Gene Synthesis Methods?
The different types of gene synthesis cannot be replaced with each other, rather each process is meant for some specific requirements. Some of the common gene synthesis methods are discussed below:
- Chip-based DNA Synthesis: This procedure of gene synthesis is carried out with the utilization of microarray chips with a series of electrochemical techniques. In this method, different types of oligonucleotides are synthesized in several parts of chips which are called as assembly subpools. These subpools consist of many gene fragments which are magnified and then aggregated and finally assembled to the main product.
- Solid-based Synthesis: It is a traditional process of gene synthesis which uses a small volume of solution, specifically processed in a column full of chemicals. This process consists of four steps such as coupling, de-blocking, capping and oxidation. The coalition of sequence and the productivity of the synthesis are restrained for the products longer than 200bp. So, this process is hindered by DNA sequence length. This process is more expensive than chip-based DNA synthesis. However, the main advantage of this method is its high accuracy.
- PCR-based Enzyme Synthesis: In this process, the gene fragments are formed through different types of cell systems. During the process, different kinds of genes are inserted to the main strands through which the target gene has no limits to its length. This particular process helps in synthesizing large gene fragments, and with the coalition of cell systems, high accuracy is maintained.
Why Is Gene Synthesis Important?
With the advancement in genetic research, gene synthesis can generate double-stranded DNA in vitro, possessing an assembly capacity of 50bp to 12Kb products, which is not possible with traditional molecular cloning and PCR cloning. Usually, in traditional molecular cloning, a set of microbiological processes are used to assemble recombined DNA molecules and perform the replication within host organisms. However, in this process, it cannot be assured that every gene will have high-efficiency expression. As gene synthesis is altogether a new system which delivers high-efficiency expression of the target gene, it is considered as the best method for cloning and genetic mutations.
What are the Major Advantages of Gene Synthesis?
Gene synthesis has a plethora of advantages, out of which some are discussed below:
- Gene synthesis provides a greater flexibility in modifying sequences of genes to promote various cloning experiments.
- Gene Synthesis saves time and human labor.
- Researchers can perform various research operations with the help of gene synthesis as it provides greater scope of extracting genes which are difficult to obtain.
- Most importantly, gene synthesis can simultaneously change all the target codons. So, there is no need to change the expressions repeatedly for target gene.
- It possesses short period of synthesis cycle with optimum accuracy.
Future Landscape of the Gene Synthesis Market
With the increasing prevalence of genetic synthesis in healthcare worldwide, the global gene synthesis market is expected to witness progressive growth in the near future. The market is anticipated to generate a revenue of $42,14,890.1 thousand and grow at a CAGR of 18.5% during the analysis timeframe from 2021-2028. Furthermore, the increasing population with genetic and chronic disorders is expected to create extensive growth opportunities in the upcoming future.
The Bottom Line
Due to the increasing number of patients suffering from chronic diseases like cancer, the demand for genetic synthesis is going to increase in the coming future. Furthermore, due to the growing investments of governments and private and public companies in the field of synthetic biology and rising demand of manufacturing vaccines with the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, the genetic synthesis market is going to fortify in the coming days.
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