Crop Biotech Update

Scientists Use Virus for Bacterial Base Editing

November 23, 2022

Researchers from North Carolina State University (NC State) reported that viruses engineered using CRISPR-Cas system could go through bacterial defenses and make selective changes to a targeted bacterium, even when other bacteria are nearby. Their findings are published in the Plant Journal.

“Viruses are very good at delivering payloads. Here, we use a bacterial virus, a bacteriophage, to deliver CRISPR to bacteria, which is ironic because bacteria normally use CRISPR to kill viruses,” said Rodolphe Barrangou, NC State professor and corresponding author of the study. “The virus in this case targets Escherichia coli by delivering DNA to it. It's like using a virus as a syringe.”

The authors describe their study as the next chapter of CRISPR delivery, which uses a virus to deliver CRISPR systems in complex environments.

Read more from North Carolina State University.

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