CRISPR Genome Editing Systems in the Genus Clostridium: a Timely Advancement.
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The genus Clostridium is composed of bioproducers, which are important for the industrial production of chemicals, as well as pathogens, which are a significant burden to the patients and on the health care industry. Historically, even though these bacteria are well known and are commonly studied, the genetic technologies to advance our understanding of these microbes have lagged behind other systems. New tools would continue the advancement of our understanding of clostridial physiology. The genetic modification systems available in several clostridia are not as refined as in other organisms and each exhibit their own drawbacks. With the advent of the repurposing of the CRISPR-Cas systems for genetic modification, the tools available for clostridia have improved significantly over the past four years. Several CRISPR-Cas systems such as using wild-type Cas9, Cas9n, dCas9/CRISPR interference (CRISPRi) and a newly studied Cpf1/Cas12a, are reported. These have the potential to greatly advance the study of clostridial species leading to future therapies or the enhanced production of industrially relevant compounds. Here we discuss the details of the CRISPR-Cas systems as well as the advances and current issues in the developed clostridial systems.