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Nat Chem Biol DOI:10.1038/s41589-020-0532-y

The developing toolkit of continuous directed evolution.

Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsMorrison, MS, Podracky, CJ, Liu, DR
JournalNat Chem Biol
Date Published2020 Jun

Continuous directed evolution methods allow the key steps of evolution-gene diversification, selection, and replication-to proceed in the laboratory with minimal researcher intervention. As a result, continuous evolution can find solutions much more quickly than traditional discrete evolution methods. Continuous evolution also enables the exploration of longer and more numerous evolutionary trajectories, increasing the likelihood of accessing solutions that require many steps through sequence space and greatly facilitating the iterative refinement of selection conditions and targeted mutagenesis strategies. Here we review the historical advances that have expanded continuous evolution from its earliest days as an experimental curiosity to its present state as a powerful and surprisingly general strategy for generating tailor-made biomolecules, and discuss more recent improvements with an eye to the future.


Alternate JournalNat. Chem. Biol.
PubMed ID32444838
Grant ListU01 AI142756 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States
RM1 HG009490 / HG / NHGRI NIH HHS / United States
R01 EB022376 / EB / NIBIB NIH HHS / United States
R35 GM118062 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
Liu investigatorship / / Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) /