In Minnesota, University of Minnesota researchers have now developed a tool that makes it possible to mutate a single gene at a time — opening the door not only to a better understanding of evolution, but also better ways to modify the genes of microbes to give them the ability to mass-produce molecules, such as biofuel-generating enzymes, for human use.
The approach — called Experimental Designed Genic Evolution, or EDGE — makes it possible to mutate a single, specific gene in E. coli bacteria without altering others. The study was published recently in PLOS ONE.
EDGE is based on a trait that bacteria naturally have — the ability to fix their DNA after it’s disrupted by a stressor. Usually this happens across the genome, but the team figured out how to target it to a specific gene using what researchers call a “focusing agent.” It alters the gene but does not specify the location of the alteration within the gene as the gene editing system CRISPR does, allowing for faster and more efficient emergence of a desired trait.
This articles was originally posted at: https://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2020/05/07/university-of-minnesota-researchers-develop-tool-to-mutate-single-genes/ on