ThermoTools aims to develop CRISPR-Cas systems for genome editing in bacterial species of interest for industrial- and basic research: the thermophiles Thermus thermophilus, Rhodothermus marinus and Thermoanaerobacterium strain AK17. The metabolisms of these bacteria are of interest for industrial bioprocessing and T. thermophilus is a model organism for studying thermophilia.
Current tools for their genome editing are however limited, and labour and time consuming. CRISPR-Cas systems have the potential to be efficient and less time-consuming alternatives to these current
The applicants have previously identified a thermostable CRISPR-Cas9 system. ThermoTools proposes to develop this system for in vivo genome editing of the thermophilic bacteria. Furthermore, the applicants have identified putative protospacers of endogenous CRISPR-Cas systems in the thermophilic bacteria. ThermoTools proposes to utilize this information and harness endogenous CRISPR-Cas systems in the bacteria for genome editing.
The project will result in the first demonstration of CRISPR-Cas tools for genome editing: in T. thermophilus, R. marinus and Thermoanaerobacterium AK17; in bacteria growing at temperatures above 55°C; in thermophiles of deinococcus-thermus and bacteroidetes phyla; in using endogenous CRISPR-Cas systems in thermophilic bacteria.
The project will facilitate genome editing in diverse thermophilic bacteria of importance for basic and applied research.