Speaker : Dr. Bogumil J. Karas – Western University, Department of Biochemistry
Title : Towards the development of synthetic organelles
Novel technologies were developed at the J. Craig Venter Institute which allow cloning of whole natural or synthetic chromosomes as centromeric plasmids in yeast, where they can be manipulated using powerful yeast genetic tools and transplanted (“booted-up”) inside microbial cells of the same or different species. As the cost of DNA synthesis continues to decrease, we are entering a new, revolutionary era where even students at the undergraduate level will be able to design, assemble, and boot up their favorite chromosome.
In my talk, I will describe the technology used to develop the first synthetic cell which is controlled by a minimal set of genes required for life, and I will describe how we are adopting this technology to develop synthetic organelles (mitochondria, chloroplasts, and novel designer organelles).