Applications of the versatile CRISPR-Cas systems

Philippe Horvath, Giedrius Gasiunas, Virginijus Siksnys, Rodolphe Barrangou

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


CRISPR-Cas systems provide adaptive immunity against viruses and plasmids in bacteria and archaea. Interference is mediated by small non-coding CRISPR RNAs (crRNAs) that guide the Cas machinery towards complementary nucleic acids for sequence-specific cleavage. Several recent studies have shown that CRISPR-encoded immunity can increase the breadth and depth of phage resistance in bacteria, and can provide a barrier to acquisition of undesirable genetic elements, notably plasmid-encoded antibiotic resistance genes. Further, the adaptive and inheritable nature of those idiosyncratic chromosomal loci provide valuable genetic polymorphism which can be leveraged for typing purposes, proprietary strain tagging, ecological surveys, and epidemiological studies. The ability to readily transfer functional CRISPR-Cas systems across even distant bacteria, and re-program their endonuclease activity make them amenable to genetic engineering and useful for genome editing. These features, in combination with recent breakthroughs in unravelling the molecular underpinnings of the CRISPR mechanism of action have paved the way for several applications in a diversity of industrial and biotechnological areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCRISPR-Cas Systems
Subtitle of host publicationRNA-Mediated Adaptive Immunity in Bacteria and Archaea
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9783642346576
ISBN (Print)9783642346569
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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