Loop assembly: a simple and open system for recursive fabrication of DNA circuits

A new DNA assembly method has been developed by the Haseloff lab in Cambridge, in collaboration with the Patron lab at the Earlham Institute in Norwich and Fernan Federici in Chile. The method provides a simple solution for working with standardised DNA parts, e.g. those developed with the type IIS common syntax, and the system is openly shared under the OpenMTA.

Pollak B, Cerda A, Delmans M, Álamos S, Moyano T, West A, Gutiérrez RA, Patron N, Federici F, Haseloff J. Loop assembly: a simple and open system for recursive fabrication of DNA circuits. New Phytol. 2018 Dec 6. doi: 10.1111/nph.15625.


High efficiency methods for DNA assembly have enabled routine assembly of synthetic DNAs of increased size and complexity. However, these techniques require customisation, elaborate vector sets or serial manipulations for the different stages of assembly. We have developed Loop assembly based on a recursive approach to DNA fabrication. The system makes use of two Type IIS restriction endonucleases and corresponding vector sets for efficient and parallel assembly of large DNA circuits. Standardised level 0 parts can be assembled into circuits containing 1, 4, 16 or more genes by looping between the two vector sets. The vectors also contain modular sites for hybrid assembly using sequence overlap methods. Loop assembly enables efficient and versatile DNA fabrication for plant transformation. We show construction of plasmids up to 16 genes and 38 Kb with high efficiency (>80%). We have characterized Loop assembly on over 200 different DNA constructs and validated the fidelity of the method by high-throughput Illumina plasmid sequencing. Our method provides a simple generalised solution for DNA construction with standardised parts. The cloning system is provided under an OpenMTA license for unrestricted sharing and open access.