CRISPR GENOME ENGINEERING FOR AMMONIA OXIDISING ARCHAEA
Ammonia oxidising archaea are among the most abundant living organisms on Earth and several genera have been isolated in pure culture over the last decade. However, the lack of a genetic system remains a major hurdle for addressing mechanistic questions in ammonia oxidising archaea. The aim of this project is to establish a genetic system for our model terrestrial Thaumarchaea, which will help us answer key questions about their metabolism and adaptation to the environment.
Mutagenesis systems have been previously developed for several other archaeal lineages, including halophiles, methanogens and extremophiles. We are especially inspired by the recent developments on the CRISPR-based mutagenesis in archaea and believe that this could be a powerful route to perform gene deletion and editing in ammonia oxidising archaea.