DNA synthesis costs and projections

DNA Synthesis – Productivity of DNA synthesis technologies has increased approximately 7,000-fold over the past 15 years, doubling every 14 months.

Costs of gene synthesis per bases pair have fallen 50-fold, halving every 32 months. At the same time, the accuracy of gene synthesis technologies has improved significantly.


If these technologies continue to improve at the exponential rates achieved historically, the cost of sequencing will fall to less than $0.01 per base pair by 2010 and the cost of gene synthesis will fall to less than $0.10 per base pair.

However,George Church in a 2006 interview indicated the following prices (already lower than the projection for 2010:


Right now the cost of synthesizing a base [using conventional technology] is about 10 cents. That’s the current street price for raw oligonucleotides. For synthesizing simple genes, it’s more like $1.30 a base. [Our method] can manufacture oligonucleotides at .01 cent per base.

it [DNA sequencing and synthesis] is actually a very fundamental concept. There is almost no synthesis that doesn’t involve sequencing, and vice versa. And that is why I have really emphasized this connection in my lab. They are very synergistic.

Projected DNA synthesis costs (halving cost about every 2.5 years)

2006 10 cents per BP
2007 0.01 to 5 cents per BP
2010 0.005 to 2 cents per BP
2013 0.002 to 1 cents per BP
2015 0.001 to 0.5 cents per BP
2017 0.0005 to 0.02 cents per BP
2007 100 BP synthesized for 1 cent
2010 200 BP for 1 cent
2013 400 BP for 1 cent
2015 1000 BP for 1 cent
2017 2000 BP for 1 cent

Projected DNA synthesis maximum lengths (doubling every 14 months)

YEAR Maximum sequence length
2007 45K (common) to 580K BP (record)
2009 200K (common) to 2M BP
2010 400K (common) to 4M BP
2012 1.5M BP to 16M BP
2014 6M BP to 64M BP
2016 25M BP to 250M BP

The global market for DNA sequencing technology and related services exceeded $7 billion in 2006. The market for synthesis reagents and synthesis services is nearly $1 billion.

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