Keynote Presentation #3 FUNCTIONS AND APPLICATIONS OF CRISPR-CAS IMMUNE SYSTEMS
Rodolphe Barrangou, North Carolina State University
Rodolphe Barrangou, Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR), together with associated sequences (cas) constitute the CRISPR-Cas system, which provides adaptive immunity against invasive elements in many bacteria and most archaea. In prokaryotes, CRISPR-Cas systems afford DNA-encoded, RNA mediated, nucleic acid targeting, using a diverse set of Cas nucleases that yield various cleavage outcomes, and carry out various biological functions. Recently, the CRISPR machinery has been repurposed to fuel the Cas9-enabled genome editing craze. Actually, the democratization of CRISPR-based technologies in the past three years hinges on the portability and functionalities of these molecular machines, and has revolutionized biology. I will look back on the historical milestones that have paved the way for the CRISPR era, and discuss the diverse applications that have impacted and continue to shape the field of Medicine, Ag, Food and Biotechnology. Importantly, there are numerous CRISPR-based applications in bacteria that span genotyping, phage resistance, immunization against invasive nucleic acids and antimicrobials that open avenues for the genesis of novel cultures and probiotics of high-potential for the food supply chain. Lastly, I will consider the impacts this transformative field has had on science and society, and discuss business implications of this disruptive technology.