Tweaking one gene with CRISPR Changed the way a snail shell Stinks


The primary gene-edited snails confirm that receptor is responsible for the way the shell swirls

pond snails

MIRROR IMAGE Tweaking a gene with the gene editor CRISPR/Cas9 resulted in the shells of pond snails that usually coil to the right (upper ) to twist to the left (bottom).  

A hereditary spin physician sets snail blocks to swirl clockwise, new research confirms. And the twist in this story comes in the start — if snail embryos are only cells.

Though most pond snails (Lymnaea stagnalis) possess shells that coil clockwise, some have taken a left hand, curling . Researchers had powerful proof that a mutation at a gene called Lsdia1 generated the counterrevolution, but there was a risk that the similar Lsdia2 receptor may be associated with The two genes have been 89.4% equal, therefore teasing out that was responsible was tricky.

Working at the Tokyo University of Science, chemist and biologist Reiko Kuroda and colleague Masanori Abe snipped Lsdia1 with the gene editor CRISPR/Cas9. The snip created a mutation. Snails that have two copies of the receptor developed shells, say the investigators, who have jumped into the Chubu University at Kasugai, Japan.

The accomplishment — noted May 14 in Development — marks the first time scientists have been able to make heritable changes in snail genes, says evolutionary geneticist Angus Davison of the University of Nottingham in England. Teams led by Davison and Kuroda had formerly published evidence individually which Lsdia1 is responsible for the spin, but the newest paper provides the definitive proof, Davison says.

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