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Crop Biotech Update

Efficient Engineering Platform in Methylotrophic Yeast Developed

July 14, 2021

A group of researchers led by Prof. Zhou Yongjin from the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has created an efficient engineering platform in methylotrophic yeast (Pichia pastoris) to boost protein and chemical production for industrial enzymes and the biopharmaceutical industry.

The researchers used CRISPR-Cas9 to enhance the homologous recombination (HR) efficiency rates by more than 54 times and to modify the multiple intrusion-induced rearrangement (MIR) processes of the methylotrophic yeast by 13.5 times. The researchers also overexpressed the gene, RAD52, to improve the efficiency of gene editing to 90% because the gene plays a crucial role in HR repair of the methylotropic yeast.

"This advanced gene editing systems can theoretically realize stable loading of more than 100 exogenous genes and precise regulation of gene expression in methylotrophic yeast which will provide convenience for the synthetic biology research of methylotrophic yeast. It also provides insights for metabolic engineering of other unconventional yeast," said Prof. Yongjin.

Read more about the study in the news release of Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics and the journal article in Nucleic Acids Research.

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