NEWS COMMENTARY

Editing genes of microbial communities possible in near future

Published:
January 10, 2022
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Researchers from the University of California – Berkeley were able to modify specific genes of organisms within microbial communities using environmental transformation sequencing (ET-seq) and DNA-editing all-in-one RNA-guided CRISPR–Cas transposase (DART) systems. The researchers edited individual Escherichia coli strains associated with disease in the gut microbiome. ET-seq was used to assess the editability of specific microbes and was compatible with a barcoded DART system, which together can insert, track, and evaluate insertion efficiency and specificity. While productizing complex microbial communities remains both a challenge and an opportunity, this technique enables a new level of precision manipulation not previously available.

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