Fabienne Gehrke: Plant Physiology First Author

Fabienne Gehrke, first author of “Non-homologous end joining as key to CRISPR/Cas-mediated plant chromosome engineering”

Current position: PhD student, Botanical Institute, Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany

Education: B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Biology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany

Non-scientific interests: scuba diving, hiking, reading and Commitment in “foodsharing e.V. – food for all”

Brief Bio: The application of the CRISPR/Cas system in Arabidopsis thaliana for Cas9 mediated break induction in repetitive elements has fascinated me ever since I first started working in this field during my bachelor thesis. Then, I continued my efforts to gain a thorough understanding of this process in my master thesis where I focused on the repair of CRISPR/Cas-induced double-strand breaks in repetitive elements of different DNA repair mutants of Arabidopsis. Following my great interest in exploring new CRISPR/Cas-based applications, I joined Prof. Dr. Holger Puchta’s group at the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT) in 2019 for my PhD. Our group has achieved groundbreaking success in the field of CRISPR/Cas-based chromosome engineering in recent years. For example, we showed that two CRISPR/Cas-induced double-strand breaks on the same chromosome enable the inversion of the intervening region, while induction of two double-strand breaks on different chromosomes allows the translocation of defined sequences. Next to chromosome engineering, we are exploring on a variety of new exciting applications of the CRISPR/Cas system and I am delighted to be part of this fascinating research.