Chinese scientists claimed to have created the first single-chromosome yeast

  • Molecular biologists at the Centre for Excellence in Molecular Plant Sciences in china have created the first single-chromosome yeast while not affecting the majority of its functions.
  • If the their claim is true then this breakthrough  could help in furthering research related to aging and diseases in humans. 
  • Brewer’s yeast, one-third of whose genome is said to share ancestry with humans, has 16 chromosomes.
  • However, Chinese scientists have managed to fit nearly all its genetic material into just one chromosome while not affecting the majority of its functions. 
  • According to the Nature jounal, in which the research paper was published, Eukaryotic genomes are generally organized in multiple chromosomes. Here they have created a functional single-chromosome yeast from a Saccharomyces cerevisiae haploid cell containing sixteen linear chromosomes, by successive end-to-end chromosome fusions and centromere deletions.
  • Chinese scientists used CRISPR-Cas9 genome-editing to create a single-chromosome yeast strain. 
  • Using the CRISPR-Cas9, the research team removed the DNA at the telomeres, the ends of chromosomes that protect them from degrading. They also snipped out the centromeres, sequences in the middle that are important to DNA replication. 
  • This research may also pave the way for new man-made species in the future.

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