Bioinformatics for the synthetic biology of natural products: integrating across the Design-Build-Test cycle

Pablo Carbonell, Andrew Currin, Adrian J. Jervis, Nicholas J. W. Rattray, Neil Swainston, Cunyu Yan, Eriko Takano, Rainer Breitling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Covering: 2000 to 2016 Progress in synthetic biology is enabled by powerful bioinformatics tools allowing the integration of the design, build and test stages of the biological engineering cycle. In this review we illustrate how this integration can be achieved, with a particular focus on natural products discovery and production. Bioinformatics tools for the DESIGN and BUILD stages include tools for the selection, synthesis, assembly and optimization of parts (enzymes and regulatory elements), devices (pathways) and systems (chassis). TEST tools include those for screening, identification and quantification of metabolites for rapid prototyping. The main advantages and limitations of these tools as well as their interoperability capabilities are highlighted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)925-932
Number of pages8
JournalNatural product reports
Issue number8
Early online date17 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016


  • bioinformatics
  • synthetic biology
  • natural products
  • Design-Build-Test
  • TEST tools
  • metabolites
  • prototyping

Cite this