Shaping CRISPR scissors for genome editing in yeast

Project

Shaping CRISPR scissors for genome editing in yeast

CRISPR is been widely used for yeast strain engineering. In this project, we study CRISPR endonucleases in order to improve current genome editing systems in yeast.

Context

Yeast cell factories are being used for the heterologous production of economically interesting biological compounds such as antibiotics or food additives. Yeast strain construction is a time consuming and expensive process and current genome editing tools could be cheaper and more effective. Therefore, this research aims to develop new easy-to-use, cheap and effective tools for yeast genome editing so that both researchers and companies can make use of them in reducing the resources invested in yeast strain development.

Both Cas9 and Cas12a are being used for genome editing purposes in yeast. However, new CRISPR systems have been recently discovered or are likely to be discovered in the close future. Characterization of these systems is still needed and proper expression systems for these endonucleases need to be developed for their use in yeast.

Aim

This research is divided in a fundamental line and in a more applied one. For the fundamental line, we plan on investigating the activity and cleavage mechanisms of these novel CRISPR endonucleases. Following a more applied approach, we plan on investigating the activity of these endonucleases in vivo, by performing genome editing assays in yeast. The activity and efficiency of newly developed tools will be compared to those of currently used tools.

Techniques

You can learn different techniques depending on the project you develop. For instance, we work both with E. coli (mainly for strain engineering and protein production) and S. cerevisiae (for genome editing purposes). You could perform growth experiments, genome editing assays, protein production projects or in vitro cleavage assays.

Contact

If you liked what you read and you are an enthusiastic Bsc or Msc student willing to do a thesis in this project, feel free to contact me. I am sitting at the office 6073 at the Helix building.