Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 117(31) , 18424-18430 (Aug 4 2020)
Most classic genetic approaches utilize binary modifications that preclude the identification of key knockdowns for essential genes or other targets that only require moderate modulation. As a complementary approach to these classic genetic methods, we describe a plasmid-based library methodology that affords bidirectional, graded modulation of gene expression enabled by tiling the promoter regions of all 969 genes that comprise the ito977 model of Saccharomyces cerevisiae’s metabolic network. When coupled with a CRISPR-dCas9-based modulation and next-generation sequencing, this method affords a library-based, bidirection titration of gene expression across all major metabolic genes. We utilized this approach in two case studies: growth enrichment on alternative sugars, glycerol and galactose, and chemical overproduction of betaxanthins, leading to the identification of unique gene targets. In particular, we identify essential genes and other targets that were missed by classic genetic approaches.