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Science And Nature

Dual-plasmid editing system improves DNA digital storage potential

A double stranded DNA fragment. Credit: Vcpmartin/Wikimedia/ CC BY-SA 4.0

DNA-based information is really a new interdisciplinary field linking it and biotechnology. The field hopes to meet up the enormous dependence on long-term data storage through the use of DNA being an information storage medium. Despite DNA’s promise of strong stability, high storage density and zero-maintenance cost, however, researchers face problems accurately rewriting digital information encoded in DNA sequences.

Generally, DNA data storage technology has two modes, i.e., the “in vitro hard disk drive mode” and the “in vivo CD mode.” The principal benefit of the in vivo mode is its low-cost, reliable replication of chromosomal DNA by cell replication. For this reason characteristic, it could be useful for rapid and low-cost data copy dissemination. Since encoded DNA sequences for a few information include a large numbers of repeats and the looks of homopolymers, however, such information can only just be “written” and “read,” but can’t be accurately “rewritten.”

To resolve the rewriting problem, Prof. Liu Kai from the Department of Chemistry, Tsinghua University, Prof. LI Jingjing from the Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry (CIAC) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Prof. Chen Dong from Zhejiang University led a study team that recently developed a dual-plasmid editing system for accurately processing in a microbial vector. Their findings were published in Science Advances.

The researchers established a dual-plasmid system in vivo utilizing a rationally designed coding algorithm and an information editing tool. This dual-plasmid system would work for storing, reading and rewriting numerous kinds of information, including text, codebooks and images. It fully explores the coding capacity for DNA sequences without requiring any addressing indices or backup sequences. Additionally it is compatible with types of coding algorithms, thus enabling high coding efficiency. For instance, the coding efficiency of the existing system reaches 4.0 bits per nucleotide.

To accomplish along with reliability in rewriting complex information stored in exogenous DNA sequences in vivo, a number of CRISPR-associated proteins (Cas) and recombinase were used. The various tools were guided by their corresponding CRISPR RNA (crRNA) to cleave a target locus in a DNA sequence so the specific information could possibly be addressed and rewritten. Due to the between complementary pairs of nucleic acid molecules, the information-encoded DNA sequences were accurately reconstructed by recombinase to encode new information. Because of optimizing the crRNA sequence, the info rewriting tool became highly adaptable to complex information, thus leading to rewriting reliability as high as 94%, that is much like existing gene-editing systems.

The dual-plasmid system can serve as a universal platform for DNA-based information rewriting in vivo, thus supplying a new technique for information processing and target-specific rewriting of large and complicated data on a molecular level.

“We believe this plan may also be applied in a full time income host with a more substantial genome, such as for example yeast, which may further pave just how for practical applications regarding big data storage,” said Prof. Liu.

More info: Yangyi Liu et al, In vivo processing of digital information molecularly with targeted specificity and robust reliability, Science Advances (2022). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abo7415.

Citation: Dual-plasmid editing system improves DNA digital storage potential (2022, August 5) retrieved 7 August 2022 from

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