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Danisco at the forefront of phage-resistant bacteria research

Science magazine publishes an up-to-date review about CRISPR

(PresseBox) (Frankfurt/Main, ) Danisco consolidates its contribution to the study of bacteria with natural immunity to viruses (phages) in a new paper published today by the international magazine Science. The review summarises the latest findings made by Danisco and the growing number of research groups investigating CRISPR - Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats - an immune system which provides bacterial cells with acquired resistance to specific phages and foreign genetic elements.

Model for further research

Recognised as a leading expert in the field, Danisco has made its CRISPR model freely available to international researchers to assist them in their investigations.

'Our model remains the most wellestablished and documented for seeing the immune system work in bacteria,' says Senior Scientist Rodolphe Barrangou, Danisco. 'We hope the paper will help research groups in their work and encourage others not currently involved in the field to look into CRISPR.'

In July 2009, Danisco coorganised and sponsored the second CRISPR conference at University of California, Berkeley, in the US. The CRISPR review in Science includes some of the findings disclosed at the conference, including the recent discovery that RNA, not only DNA, can be a target of some CRISPR/Cas systems.

Conferences in 2010

As plans get underway to hold a third conference at Berkeley in 2010, Danisco is involved in coorganising another event in Europe, in cooperation with an independent Dutch team working on CRISPR. The European conference will be held in Wageningen, The Netherlands on 21-22 October 2010. 'This is a hot topic in Microbiology at this time,' says Senior Scientist Philippe Horvath, Danisco, as many groups throughout the world investigate various aspects of the CRISPR/Cas system, both in terms of mechanism of action and potential applications such as genetic typing, studying the interaction between viruses and their hosts, and building immunity against undesirable foreign genetic elements.

The article by Philippe Horvath and Rodolphe Barrangou is entitled 'CRISPR/Cas, the immune system of Bacteria and Archaea' and is the most uptodate review of CRISPR knowledge so far - superseding a previous Danisco paper on the subject published in Science in 2007.

Link to the online article: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/327/5962/167