The Inscripta Blog

August 24, 2021
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In New Publications, Scientists Report Use of MAD7 Nuclease for Plant Editing and More

A key part of Inscripta’s mission is making genome engineering more accessible. To that end, we released the MAD7™ nuclease sequence for royalty-free academic and commercial R&D use so that researchers all over the world could test it out and perform CRISPR-based genome editing. We are always happy to see when scientists use the MAD7 nuclease in their research.

Two recent papers have cited the MAD7 nuclease. The first publication in the Journal of Genetics and Genomics describes the first use of this enzyme for a plant genome editing study. Scientists at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing used the MAD7 nuclease to genetically alter rice and wheat, demonstrating its potential for engineering crops.

The lead investigators on the study, Yanpeng Wang and Jin-Long Qiu, engineered two variants of the MAD7 enzyme that have extended target ranges and recognize altered protospacer adjacent motifs (PAMs). Results showed that the editing efficiency of MAD7 in rice and wheat is up to 65.6%, comparable to that of the widely used LbCas12a CRISPR system. Additionally, they demonstrate that this approach can be used for multiplex gene editing when used with other CRISPR orthologs.

The second publication is a chapter in Progress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science, a book series covering recent advances in stem cell editing. The authors talk about the MAD7 nuclease as an important resource that can overcome current limitations of CRISPR editing. “A wide range of families and orthologues of CRISPR-associated proteins are being developed to fill the gaps in genome engineering by increasing their functionality, specificity, and […] and ease of access globally,” they write. They cite several publications that have demonstrated the effectiveness of the MAD7 enzyme in a range of organisms, including Bacillus subtilis, zebrafish, and mice and rats.

We are excited to see that researchers continue to develop new applications and expand the list of organisms that can be edited using this alternative CRISPR nuclease. We look forward to seeing more great research in the future.