CRISPR-DT: designing gRNAs for the CRISPR-Cpf1 system with improved target efficiency and specificity

Bioinformatics. 2019 Aug 15;35(16):2783-2789. doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/bty1061.


Motivation: The Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)-Cpf1 system has been successfully applied in genome editing. However, target efficiency of the CRISPR-Cpf1 system varies among different guide RNA (gRNA) sequences.

Results: In this study, we reanalyzed the published CRISPR-Cpf1 gRNAs data and found many sequence and structural features related to their target efficiency. With the aid of Random Forest in feature selection, a support vector machine model was created to predict target efficiency for any given gRNAs. We have developed the first CRISPR-Cpf1 web service application, CRISPR-DT (CRISPR DNA Targeting), to help users design optimal gRNAs for the CRISPR-Cpf1 system by considering both target efficiency and specificity. CRISPR-DT will empower researchers in genome editing.

Availability and implementation: CRISPR-DT, mainly implemented in Perl, PHP and JavaScript, is freely available at

Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • CRISPR-Cas Systems
  • Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats*
  • DNA
  • Endonucleases
  • Gene Editing
  • RNA, Guide


  • RNA, Guide
  • DNA
  • Endonucleases