Skip to main content

Breeding a better vector

DNA shuffling (also called molecular breeding) generates variation by random fragmentation of a cloned gene followed by reassembly of the fragments in a self-priming polymerase reaction. The result is a recombination of overlapping fragments that have different mutations or come from different, naturally occurring homologous genes. In the August Nature Genetics Soong et al. apply this technique to a pool of six different murine leukemia virus envelope sequences to derive a new virus that can, unlike its parents, infect Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHOK1) cells (Nat. Gen. 2000, 25:436-439). Similar selections on clinically relevant cell types may yield improved vectors for gene therapy.


  1. Rapid evolution of a protein in vitro by DNA shuffling.

  2. DNA shuffling of a family of genes from diverse species accelerates directed evolution.

  3. Nature genetics, []

Download references


Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Wells, W. Breeding a better vector. Genome Biol 1, spotlight-20000807-01 (2000).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: