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Trends in Biotechnology
Vol. 36 (2) , 20
18, Pages: 134-146

Advances in Industrial Biotechnology Using CRISPR-Cas Systems

Paul D.Donohoue, Rodolphe Barrangou, Andrew P.May

Caribou Biosciences, Inc., 2929 7th St., Suite 105, Berkeley, CA 94710, USA.


The term ‘clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats’ (CRISPR) has recently become synonymous with the genome-editing revolution. The RNA-guided endonuclease CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9), in particular, has attracted attention for its promise in basic research and gene editing-based therapeutics. CRISPR-Cas systems are efficient and easily programmable nucleic acid-targeting tools, with uses reaching beyond research and therapeutic development into the precision breeding of plants and animals and the engineering of industrial microbes. CRISPR-Cas systems have potential for many microbial engineering applications, including bacterial strain typing, immunization of cultures, autoimmunity or self-targeted cell killing, and the engineering or control of metabolic pathways for improved biochemical synthesis. In this review, we explore the fundamental characteristics of CRISPR-Cas systems and highlight how these features can be used in industrial settings.


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