CRISPR is going to reshape the future of probiotic genomes: Expert

This content item was originally published on, a William Reed online publication.

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Probiotics Probiota americas CRISPR

We are just on the cusp of realizing the opportunities offered by CRISPR technology to open up a new generation of probiotic ingredients, says one of the leading scientists in this field.

CRISPR (pronounced “crisper”) is short for “clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats”. It is a method for genome editing, and recently hit the headlines with the announcement that the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry​ will be awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna for their discovery of the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors.

The possibilities offered by CRISPR for probiotics and manipulation of the microbiome will be addressed at the upcoming IPA World Congress + Probiota Americas 2020 Digital Summit​ in a keynote presentation by Dr Rodolphe Barrangou from North Carolina State University.

Speaking with NutraIngredients-USA this week, Dr Barrangou explained: “Most people don’t know that CRISPR-Cas systems occur naturally in about half of the bacteria that exist in the world. So, CRISPR actually comes from bacteria. CRISPR has been used in the dairy industry already to enhance phage resistance in cheese cultures, yogurt cultures, and the like.

“There are multiple papers that have come out already illustrating our ability to manipulate not just probiotic species but also specific strains. We can use endogenous CRISPRs or exogenous CRISPRs to manipulate some of the common players in the probiotics field commercially. That has been done. We can add genes. We can remove genes. We can change genes of interest,”​ added Dr Barrangou.

“What we haven’t seen as of yet, but we’re on the cusp of seeing, is enhancing several genes at the same time and then commercializing clinically-tested, proven and substantiated probiotics. We’re going to see it right before our eyes.

“CRISPR is very powerful. CRISPR is very timely. CRISPR is going to allow us to reshape the future of probiotic genomes more flexibly, more easily, more affordably than we had imagined until now.”

Probiota Americas Digital Summit

Dr Barrangou will deliver his keynote on the opening day of the IPA World Congress + Probiota Americas 2020 Digital Summit on November 10.

Over the three days, sessions will run for two hours, and offer attendees keynote presentations, live panel discussions, presentations from the leading categories leading players, and live Q&A sessions.

The Digital Summit will bring together experts from Seed, UAS/ Chr. Hansen, Lonza, Embria (Cargill), North Carolina State University, University College Cork, ADM, KGK Science, Probi, the International Probiotics Association, the Lawson Health Research Institute, and many more.

The event will also feature a range of exclusive on-demand content, including our unique series of interviews with champions of prebiotics, probiotics and the microbiome.

For more information and to register for FREE, please click the image below.

NOVEMBER 10 - 12, 2020      3-DAY SUMMIT

Connecting the business and science of the microbiome

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