WARF: P05071US

DNA Synthesis with Error Reduction


Peter Belshaw, Michael Sussman, Franco Cerrina, James Kaysen, Brock Binkowski, Kathryn Richmond

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing a microarray technique for making DNA constructs of virtually any size with minimal error.
OVERVIEWSynthesizing DNA is an important part of biotechnology but current methods are useful only for relatively short gene sequences. Researchers are forced to construct larger genes through time-consuming assembly of short segments called oligonucleotides.

Microarray technology has sped up the process. However, newly synthesized sequences will invariably contain mismatches due to chemical side reactions, resulting in sequence errors. The problem only gets worse when synthesizing long DNA strands. Thus, it is critical to eliminate the DNA molecules containing errors.
THE INVENTIONUW–Madison researchers have developed a method to reduce errors in synthesized DNA and therefore produce genes of correct sequence.

In the new process (termed ‘consensus shuffling’), DNA sequences are either assembled or digested into shorter fragment and then permitted to hybridize. The double-stranded fragments are exposed to a selective DNA filtering agent to remove mismatched sequences from the population. Finally, the surviving fragments are used as templates for PCR amplification to produce full-length sequences.
  • DNA synthesis
  • May reduce the number of oligonucleotides with errors by several orders of magnitude
  • Frees researchers from relying on commercially available vectors
  • Saves time and cost
  • Method is especially suited for longer genes.
STAGE OF DEVELOPMENTThe researchers have demonstrated a fourfold reduction in sequence errors.
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Jennifer Gottwald at or 608-960-9854.
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