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This content will become publicly available on December 1, 2022

Title: Manipulation of the Tyrosinase gene permits improved CRISPR/Cas editing and neural imaging in cichlid fish
Abstract Direct tests of gene function have historically been performed in a limited number of model organisms. The CRISPR/Cas system is species-agnostic, offering the ability to manipulate genes in a range of models, enabling insights into evolution, development, and physiology. Astatotilapia burtoni , a cichlid fish from the rivers and shoreline around Lake Tanganyika, has been extensively studied in the laboratory to understand evolution and the neural control of behavior. Here we develop protocols for the creation of CRISPR-edited cichlids and create a broadly useful mutant line. By manipulating the Tyrosinase gene, which is necessary for eumelanin pigment production, we describe a fast and reliable approach to quantify and optimize gene editing efficiency. Tyrosinase mutants also remove a major obstruction to imaging, enabling visualization of subdermal structures and fluorophores in situ. These protocols will facilitate broad application of CRISPR/Cas9 to studies of cichlids as well as other non-traditional model aquatic species.
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Scientific Reports
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National Science Foundation
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