Crop Biotech Update

Another CRISPR Tool Shows Great Potential to Advance Science

June 5, 2019

The genome editing toolbox now includes CRISPR-Cas3, which enables "chewing up" of DNA with high speed and efficiency.

CRISPR-Cas9 has been widely used in agricultural improvement, biomedical research, and food science. It is described as a molecular scissor because of its ability to create a single double-strand break at a target site along the DNA. After cutting a section of the DNA, the cell's ability to repair DNA is used to discard or add nucleotides. A more precise tool, CRISPR-Cas12 (also known as CRISPR-Cpf1), was also developed and used by researchers.

Another tool known as CRISPR-Cas3 was reported in Molecular Cell. CRISPR-Cas3 is different from the two CRISPR tools because of its ability to erase long sequences of DNA in eukaryotes like plants and animals. This new CRISPR tool does not make a break, but chews up the DNA with high speed and effectivity. Furthermore, it is highly specific and programmable, making it a promising tool to advance science.

Read more information from Genetic Literacy Project, Science Daily, and Molecular Cell.