A fundamental issue in biotechnology is how to breed useful strains of microorganisms for efficient production of valuable biomaterials. On-going and more recent developments in gene manipulation technologies and chromosomal and genomic modifications in particular have facilitated important contributions in this area. "Chromosome manipulation technology" as an outgrowth of "gene manipulation technology" may provide opportunities for creating novel strains of organisms with a variety of genomic constitutions. A simple and rapid chromosome splitting technology called "PCR-mediated chromosome splitting" (PCS) that we recently developed has made it possible to manipulate chromosomes and genomes on a large scale in an industrially important microorganism, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This paper focuses on recent advances in molecular methods for altering chromosomes and genome in S. cerevisiae featuring chromosome splitting technology. These advances in introducing large-scale genomic modifications are expected to accelerate the breeding of novel strains for biotechnological purposes, and to reveal functions of presently uncharacterized chromosomal regions in S. cerevisiae and other organisms.
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