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BY 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter June 25, 2020

Synthetic biology open language (SBOL) version 3.0.0

  • Hasan Baig ORCID logo , Pedro Fontanarrosa ORCID logo , Vishwesh Kulkarni ORCID logo , James Alastair McLaughlin ORCID logo , Prashant Vaidyanathan ORCID logo , Bryan Bartley ORCID logo , Jacob Beal ORCID logo , Matthew Crowther , Thomas E. Gorochowski ORCID logo , Raik Grünberg ORCID logo , Goksel Misirli ORCID logo , James Scott-Brown ORCID logo , Ernst Oberortner ORCID logo , Anil Wipat ORCID logo and Chris J. Myers ORCID logo EMAIL logo


Synthetic biology builds upon genetics, molecular biology, and metabolic engineering by applying engineering principles to the design of biological systems. When designing a synthetic system, synthetic biologists need to exchange information about multiple types of molecules, the intended behavior of the system, and actual experimental measurements. The Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL) has been developed as a standard to support the specification and exchange of biological design information in synthetic biology, following an open community process involving both wet bench scientists and dry scientific modelers and software developers, across academia, industry, and other institutions. This document describes SBOL 3.0.0, which condenses and simplifies previous versions of SBOL based on experiences in deployment across a variety of scientific and industrial settings. In particular, SBOL 3.0.0, (1) separates sequence features from part/sub-part relationships, (2) renames Component Definition/Component to Component/Sub-Component, (3) merges Component and Module classes, (4) ensures consistency between data model and ontology terms, (5) extends the means to define and reference Sub-Components, (6) refines requirements on object URIs, (7) enables graph-based serialization, (8) moves Systems Biology Ontology (SBO) for Component types, (9) makes all sequence associations explicit, (10) makes interfaces explicit, (11) generalizes Sequence Constraints into a general structural Constraint class, and (12) expands the set of allowed constraints.

Corresponding author: Chris J. Myers, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, USA, E-mail:

Received: 2020-04-02
Accepted: 2020-04-16
Published Online: 2020-06-25

© 2020 Hasan Baig et al., published by De Gruyter, Berlin/Boston

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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