Abby Wang Rose Hills
Identification of Regulators of CRISPR-Associated Transposons
Microbiome editing is an emerging technology that has the potential to help us understand bacterial dynamics and interactions within diverse communities that were not previously accessible. This has many diverse scientific
and technological applications that include therapeutic and environmental interventions. However, editing the genome of targeted species within these communities is still nascent and limited. The Rubin Lab has developed DNA-editing all-in-one RNA-guided CRISPR–Cas transposase (DART) plasmid editing systems encoding CRISPR-associated transposons (CASTs) that are optimized for microbiome editing. DART currently does not work in all organisms and has limited efficiency where it does. To improve the editing efficiency of DART, this project aims to identify possible regulators of CAST transposition. My work will validate putative regulators by measuring the effect of their knockout on insertion efficiency. This work will be critical to reveal the underlying mechanisms behind DART and CAST transposition, facilitating improved, targeted gene editing of microbial communities.