The CRISPR–Cas9 gene-editing system could be harnessed to speed up the search for DNA sequences linked to specific traits.
Researchers can identify genomic regions that are linked to traits, but pinpointing the responsible snippet of DNA within that region is difficult. To speed up the hunt, Meru Sadhu and his colleagues at the University of California, Los Angeles, targeted the Cas9 enzyme to cut DNA at 95 sites on one copy of chromosome 7 in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). The team then built a library of yeast strains, each with a genetic rearrangement at one of the 95 sites — making it easier to determine the function of a given section of DNA.
The researchers used their library to pinpoint a gene variant that makes yeast sensitive to manganese.
Science http://doi.org/bgd2 (2016)