Advances in Industrial Biotechnology Using CRISPR-Cas Systems
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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