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Every life form has emerged through evolution. Successive random mutations followed by selection of the fittest individuals has resulted in vastly complex and diverse living organisms.

This process can be accelerated in the laboratory to create new protein variants with desirable properties by diversification of a known DNA sequence followed by selective amplification, an approach known as directed evolution. In vivo diversification with locus-specific targeting has recently become possible using T7-RNAP-guided deaminases.  

Here, aiming to maximize the effectiveness of this method, we have combined two strategies.

First, we use new cytosine and adenosine deaminases with improved mutagenesis rates.

Second, our innovative design can target both DNA strands simultaneously, resulting in improved diversification and reducing the bias observed in existing systems that mainly target only one of the strands of DNA in each mutation cycle.

For further information about the 2021 iGEM competition, visit the iGEM 2021 website.

352 teams worldwide participated at the 2021 iGEM competition