Novel genomes reconstructed from metagenomes were shown to encode previously unknown CRISPR-Cas systems with potential for genome editing.
Significance and Impact
The new genome-editing systems are among the most compact yet identified. The systems are currently being developed as alternatives to the Cas9-based system.
- An extensive set of genomes reconstructed largely in DOE funded research was searched for novel gene clusters adjacent to CRISPR arrays.
- Two candidate systems, CasX and CasY, were tested in interference assays
- Novel archaeal genomes were shown to contain the first Cas9-based loci from this domain of life
Burstein, D.; Harrington, L. B.; Strutt, S. C.; Probst, A. J.; Anantharaman, K.; Thomas, B. C.; Doudna, J. A.; Banfield, J. F. (2017), New CRISPR–Cas systems from uncultivated microbes, Nature, 542(7640), 237-241 DOI: 10.1038/nature21059.