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Author ORCID ID is 0000000197849876
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  1. Thanks to its ease of use, modularity, and scalability, the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) system has been increasingly used in the design and engineering of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, one of the most popular hosts for industrial biotechnology. This review summarizes the recent development of this disruptive technology for metabolic engineering applications, including CRISPR-mediated gene knock-out and knock-in as well as transcriptional activation and interference. More importantly, multi-functional CRISPR systems that combine both gain- and loss-of-function modulations for combinatorial metabolic engineering are highlighted.
    Cited by 3
  2. Xylose is a major component of lignocellulosic biomass, one of the most abundant feedstocks for biofuel production. Therefore, efficient and rapid conversion of xylose to ethanol is crucial in the viability of lignocellulosic biofuel plants. In this study, RNAi Assisted Genome Evolution (RAGE) was used to improve the xylose utilization rate in SR8, one of the most efficient publicly available xylose utilizing Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains. To identify gene targets for further improvement, we created a genome-scale library consisting of both genetic over-expression and down-regulation mutations in SR8. Followed by screening in media containing xylose as the sole carbon source, yeastmore » mutants with 29% faster xylose utilization, and 45% higher ethanol productivity were obtained relative to the parent strain. Two known and two new effector genes were identified in these mutant strains. Notably, down-regulation of CDC11, an essential gene, resulted in faster xylose utilization, and this gene target cannot be identified in genetic knock-out screens.« less
  3. The CRISPR/Cas9 system has been widely used for multiplex genome engineering of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Furthermore, its application in manipulating industrial yeast strains is less successful, probably due to the genome complexity and low copy numbers of gRNA expression plasmids. Here we developed an efficient CRISPR/Cas9 system for industrial yeast strain engineering by using our previously engineered plasmids with increased copy numbers. Four genes in both a diploid strain (Ethanol Red, 8 alleles in total) and a triploid strain (ATCC 4124, 12 alleles in total) were knocked out in a single step with 100% efficiency. This system was used to constructmore » xylose-fermenting, lactate-producing industrial yeast strains, in which ALD6, PHO13, LEU2, and URA3 were disrupted in a single step followed by the introduction of a xylose utilization pathway and a lactate biosynthetic pathway on auxotrophic marker plasmids. The optimized CRISPR/Cas9 system provides a powerful tool for the development of industrial yeast based microbial cell factories.« less
  4. Metabolic engineering aims to develop efficient cell factories by rewiring cellular metabolism. As one of the most commonly used cell factories, Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been extensively engineered to produce a wide variety of products at high levels from various feedstocks. In this paper, we summarize the recent development of metabolic engineering approaches to modulate yeast metabolism with representative examples. Particularly, we highlight new tools for biosynthetic pathway optimization (i.e. combinatorial transcriptional engineering and dynamic metabolic flux control) and genome engineering (i.e. clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR associated (Cas) system based genome engineering and RNA interference assisted genome evolution)more » to advance metabolic engineering in yeast. Lastly, we also discuss the challenges and perspectives for high throughput metabolic engineering.« less
    Cited by 3

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