DOI: 10.3390/ijms25063271 ISSN: 1422-0067

Not Only Editing: A Cas-Cade of CRISPR/Cas-Based Tools for Functional Genomics in Plants and Animals

Aurélien Devillars, Gabriele Magon, Carlotta Pirrello, Fabio Palumbo, Silvia Farinati, Gianni Barcaccia, Margherita Lucchin, Alessandro Vannozzi
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Spectroscopy
  • Molecular Biology
  • General Medicine
  • Catalysis

The advent of CRISPR/Cas9 technology has revolutionized genome editing, enabling the attainment of once-unimaginable goals. CRISPR/Cas’s groundbreaking attributes lie in its simplicity, versatility, universality, and independence from customized DNA-protein systems, erasing the need for specialized expertise and broadening its scope of applications. It is therefore more and more used for genome modification including the generation of mutants. Beyond such editing scopes, the recent development of novel or modified Cas-based systems has spawned an array of additional biotechnological tools, empowering both fundamental and applied research. Precisely targeting DNA or RNA sequences, the CRISPR/Cas system has been harnessed in fields as diverse as gene regulation, deepening insights into gene expression, epigenetic changes, genome spatial organization, and chromatin dynamics. Furthermore, it aids in genome imaging and sequencing, as well as effective identification and countering of viral pathogens in plants and animals. All in all, the non-editing aspect of CRISPR/Cas exhibits tremendous potential across diverse domains, including diagnostics, biotechnology, and fundamental research. This article reviews and critically evaluates the primary CRISPR/Cas-based tools developed for plants and animals, underlining their transformative impact.

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