Targeted genome editing using CRISPR-Cas9 in insects: a way forward
Ph.D Scholar, Division of Entomology, ICAR- Indian Agricultural Research Institute
Technologies for making and manipulating DNA have enabled many of the advances in biology over last 60 years. The field of biology is now experiencing a transformative phase with the advent of facile genome engineering in animals and plants using RNA- programmable CRISPR-Cas9 technology originated from type п CRISPR Cas systems. This system provide bacteria with adaptive immunity to viruses and plasmids. The CRISPR associated protein Cas9 is an endonuclease. It uses a guide sequence within an RNA duplex (tracrRNA: crRNA) to form base pairs with target DNA sequences. This enable Cas9 to introduce a site-specific double-strand break (DSBs) In the DNA. The simplicity of CRISPR-Cas9 programming, together with a unique DNA cleaving mechanism has enabled remarkable development technology, which can precisely and efficiently target, edit, modify, regulate, and mark genomic loci of a wide array of cells and organisms. CRISPR- Cas9 applications in plants and insects promises to change the pace and course of agricultural research. This system allowed targeted genome modifications in the germ lines of animal models such as fruit flies, mosquitoes as well as non-model insects such as silk worm and moth species. Further, modification of plant genomes to provide protection from disease and resistance against insect pests become easier than the traditional vector mediated transgenesis. This two component system became a versatile technology that has already stimulated innovative applications in molecular biology, and adapted by laboratories worldwide. So for the use of this powerful tool, understanding the basic mechanism is needed then it can be easily harnessed for applications in molecular biology and insect biochemistry as well, that were not previously envisioned. The efficiency of this technology opens new routes that may lead to the long term development of novel pest control technologies.
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