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CRISPR info that’s a cut above the rest

The latest genome-editing abbreviations and definitions in a single list!
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Whether you’re new to genome editing or an experienced scientist, it can be challenging to keep up with the terminology, definitions, and abbreviations, particularly when it has to do with such rapidly advancing technology as CRISPR.

CRISPR genome editing has revolutionized biological sciences, from medicine to agriculture to industry, making it possible to edit the DNA sequence of almost any living organism. Keeping up with this technology, however, can be overwhelming.

The uses, applications, and techniques seem to expand on a monthly basis, making it necessary to stay on top of the latest CRISPR-related abbreviations. We’re here to make things easier for you! We’ve compiled a handy list of CRISPR abbreviations to keep on a lab shelf,  desk drawer, or back-pocket cheat sheet!

If you’re looking for more helpful CRISPR information and reminders, we’ve got you covered. Just click this to download our free CRISPR Basics Handbook. How does CRISPR work? What are the applications beyond simple editing? What do you need to start your genome editing experiment? What are the different Cas enzymes? How do you design guide RNAs? How do you analyze gene editing at on- and off-target locations? What are IDT’s CRISPR products? It’s all there in this comprehensive, easy-to-digest handbook … and much, much more! Even experienced gene editors will discover valuable insights and new techniques in The CRISPR Basics Handbook.

As promised, here are some abbreviations and definitions you will come across during your CRISPR genome editing studies:

A.s.Acidaminococcus species

Cas – CRISPR-associated (enzyme)

Cpf1 – Another name for Cas12a. Technically, Cpf1 stands for “CRISPR from Prevotella and Francisella 1”

CRISPR – Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats

CRISPRa – CRISPR-mediated gene activation

CRISPRi – CRISPR interference


dCas9 – Dead Cas9 (catalytically dead Cas9)

DSB – Double-strand break (double-strand DNA break)

dsDNA – Double-stranded DNA

FACS – Fluorescence-activated cell sorting

FASTA – A file format for DNA and protein sequences (it stands for Fast Alignment and Search Tool-All)

gRNA – Guide RNA

GUIDE-seq – Genome-wide unbiased identification of DSBs evaluated by sequencing

HDR – Homology-directed repair

IFN – Interferon

IVTIn vitro transcription

L.b. – Lachnospiraceae bacterium

NCBI – National Center for Biotechnology Information

NGSNext generation sequencing

NHEJ – Non-homologous end joining

NLS – Nuclear localization sequence

PAM – Protospacer-adjacent motif

PCR – Polymerase chain reaction

RNAi – RNA interference

RNP – Ribonucleoprotein

S.p.Streptococcus pyogenes

sgRNA – Single-guide RNA

ssDNA – Single-stranded DNA

ssODN – Single-stranded oligodeoxynucleotide

T7EI – T7 endonuclease I

TALEN – Transcription activator-like effector nuclease

tracrRNA – Transactivating CRISPR RNA

ZFN – Zinc finger nuclease