Crop Biotech Update

Scientists Create CROPSR, A Tool to Accelerate Genetic Discoveries

February 23, 2022

Scientists at the Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation (CABBI) have created CROPSR, the first open-source software tool for genome-wide design and evaluation of guide RNA (gRNA) sequences for CRISPR experiments.

"CROPSR provides the scientific community with new methods and a new workflow for performing CRISPR-Cas9 knockout experiments," said developer Hans Müller Paul, a molecular biologist and Ph.D. student with co-author Matthew Hudson, Professor of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

The genome-wide approach significantly shortens the time required to design a CRISPR experiment, thereby reducing the challenge of working with crops and accelerating gRNA sequence design, evaluation, and validation. CROPSR can generate a database of usable CRISPR guide RNAs for an entire crop genome, a process that is computationally intensive and time-consuming and usually requires several days. Now, researchers could search for the gene in their own database and see all the guides available rather than searching for a targeted gene through an online database, then using current tools to design separate guides for five different locations and doing multiple rounds of experiments.

For more details, read the article on the CABBI website.

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