With Our New Viral Service, We're Taking CRISPR Further!

Posted by Tyler Ford on Dec 6, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Numbers in the large colored circles are rough approximations of the total number of CRISPR plasmids for that particular organism available at Addgene. Percentages represent the fraction of that total with the indicated function.

One huge reason CRISPR has become such a popular genome editing tool is its developers’ willingness to make their CRISPR technologies available to the academic research community. At Addgene, we’ve helped distribute many of these technologies in plasmid form and are proud to have facilitated their fast adoption. However, in many cases the plasmids themselves are only the starting point for the production of viruses used to deliver CRISPR components to cells or organisms under study. In the past we’ve left the arduous task of virus production to individual labs, but now we’re very excited to provide ready-to-use CRISPR lentiviral preps to researchers across the globe.

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Topics: CRISPR, Viral Vectors

CRISPR 101: Engineering the Plant Genome Using CRISPR/Cas9

Posted by Joel McDade on Oct 11, 2016 10:30:00 AM

CRISPR has taken the genome engineering world by storm owing to its ease of use and utility in a wide variety of organisms.  While much of current CRISPR research focuses on its potential applications for human medicine (1), the potential of CRISPR for genome engineering in plants is also being realized. There are a variety of reasons to consider using genome editing to change the genetic code of plants, including the development of crops with longer shelf life and the development of disease-resistant crops to increase agricultural yield (2,3). While it is certainly possible to select for desirable traits using traditional plant breeding approaches, these techniques are cumbersome, often requiring several rounds of selection to isolate plants with the phenotype of interest. Genome engineering, on the other hand, allows for targeted modification of known or suspected genes that regulate a desired phenotype.  In fact, CRISPR has already been used to engineer the genome of many plant species, including commonly used model organisms like Arabidopsis and Medicago truncatula and several crop species including potato, corn, tomato, wheat, mushroom, and rice (4). Despite the almost universal functionality of the CRISPR system in most organisms, some plant-specific changes to CRISPR components are necessary to enable genome editing in plant cells.  

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Topics: CRISPR, Plant Biology, CRISPR 101

Sequencing Options for CRISPR Genotyping

Posted by Guest Blogger on Oct 4, 2016 10:30:00 AM

This post was contributed by guest blogger Søren Hough, the Head Science Writer at Desktop Genetics.

One of the most important steps in the CRISPR experimental process is validating edits. Regardless of which CRISPR genome editing system you use, there remains a chance that the observed phenotype was caused by an off-target mutation and not an edit in the target gene.

The validation process, also known as CRISPR genotyping, is critical to demonstrating causal relationships between genotype and assayed phenotype. Verifying these connections can help alleviate the reproducibility crisis in biology. It is key to address these concerns as CRISPR use grows across the life sciences and to establish standardized validation techniques for academia, industry, and especially the clinic.

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Topics: CRISPR

CRISPR Kinome Libraries Available: Pooled and Individual Plasmid Formats

Posted by Guest Blogger on Sep 9, 2016 10:43:16 AM

This post was contributed by guest blogger, member of the Addgene Advisory Board, and Associate Director of the Genetic Perturbation Platform at the Broad Institute, John Doench.

A genetic screening project can be a tremendous undertaking, producing a wall of results that can only be described as bigly. But such a project should not be undertaken lightly. Whether executed in arrayed or pooled format there are of course materials costs, regardless of who is paying for them. More importantly, there’s the opportunity cost of your time; an investment of months of your life that may end with little more than an Excel spreadsheet of random numbers that’ll leave you, well, #sad.

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Topics: CRISPR

Cas9 Activators: A Practical Guide

Posted by Guest Blogger on Aug 18, 2016 10:30:00 AM

This post was contributed by guest bloggers Marcelle Tuttle and Alex Chavez, researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.

Background on Cas9 Activators


CRISPR/Cas9
is an enormously plastic tool and has taken the scientific world by storm. While Cas9 has been most widely used to create specific edits in DNA, there has also been significant work on constructing Cas9 transcriptional activators. These constructs allow for the upregulation of essentially any gene by fusing mutants of Cas9 deficient in DNA cutting activity to a transcriptional activation domain (Fig 1).

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Topics: CRISPR

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