Directed evolution: An evolving and enabling synthetic biology tool

Ryan E. Cobb, Tong Si, Huimin Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Synthetic biology, with its goal of designing biological entities for wide-ranging purposes, remains a field of intensive research interest. However, the vast complexity of biological systems has heretofore rendered rational design prohibitively difficult. As a result, directed evolution remains a valuable tool for synthetic biology, enabling the identification of desired functionalities from large libraries of variants. This review highlights the most recent advances in the use of directed evolution in synthetic biology, focusing on new techniques and applications at the pathway and genome scale.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-291
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Chemical Biology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Aug 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry


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