Wednesday, July 06, 2016

CRISPR Technology

A nice article related to CRISPR technology and an application with waxy corn in a recent DTN article: 

A very nice description of CRISPR technology:

"The letters CRISPR stand for "clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats," that is, snippets of DNA….They work as part of the bacteria's defense system, in partnership with a group of special, DNA-cutting Cas ("Crispr-associated") proteins and RNA molecules….When viruses invade, the bacterial CRISPR-Cas copies DNA sequences from the virus and saves this information as a short CRISPR repeat -- a sort of molecular mug shot. When that virus invades again, these repeats are remobilized as RNA molecules, which recognize the virus DNA sequence and guide the CRISPR complex to it. There, the Cas protein snips the offending DNA sequence out, disabling the virus."

"Using a specific protein, Cas9, researchers are now using this CRISPR complex to target specific genes in the genome of plants, animals and even humans. The RNA guides the CRISPR complex to the gene sequence in question, and Cas9 cuts it out. Researchers can leave the DNA to heal on its own or they can insert a desired gene in its place."

The article goes on to discuss the regulatory environment and applications related to a new variety of waxy corn in the development pipeline for Pioneer.