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CRISPR J. 2018 Oct;1(5):325-336. doi: 10.1089/crispr.2018.0033.

Classification and Nomenclature of CRISPR-Cas Systems: Where from Here?

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1
National Center for Biotechnology Information , National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, Maryland.

Abstract

As befits an immune mechanism, CRISPR-Cas systems are highly variable with respect to Cas protein sequences, gene composition, and organization of the genomic loci. Optimal classification of CRISPR-Cas systems and rational nomenclature for CRISPR-associated genes are essential for further progress of CRISPR research. These are highly challenging tasks because of the complexity of CRISPR-Cas and their fast evolution, including frequent module shuffling, as well as the lack of universal markers for a consistent evolutionary classification. The complexity and variability of CRISPR-Cas systems necessitate a multipronged approach to classification and nomenclature. We present a brief summary of the current state of the art and discuss further directions in this area.

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