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Title: Efficient and modular CRISPR‐Cas9 vector system for Physcomitrella patens

CRISPR‐Cas9 has been shown to be a valuable tool in recent years, allowing researchers to precisely edit the genome using an RNA‐guided nuclease to initiate double‐strand breaks. Until recently, classical RAD51‐mediated homologous recombination has been a powerful tool for gene targeting in the mossPhyscomitrella patens. However, CRISPR‐Cas9‐mediated genome editing inP. patenswas shown to be more efficient than traditional homologous recombination (Plant Biotechnology Journal, 15, 2017, 122). CRISPR‐Cas9 provides the opportunity to efficiently edit the genome at multiple loci as well as integrate sequences at precise locations in the genome using a simple transient transformation. To fully take advantage of CRISPR‐Cas9 genome editing inP. patens, here we describe the generation and use of a flexible and modular CRISPR‐Cas9 vector system. Without the need for gene synthesis, this vector system enables editing of up to 12 loci simultaneously. Using this system, we generated multiple lines that had null alleles at four distant loci. We also found that targeting multiple sites within a single locus can produce larger deletions, but the success of this depends on individual protospacers. To take advantage of homology‐directed repair, we developed modular vectors to rapidly generate DNA donor plasmids to efficiently introduce DNA sequences encoding for fluorescent proteins at the 5′ and 3′ ends of gene coding regions. With regard to homology‐directed repair experiments, we found that if the protospacer sequence remains on the DNA donor plasmid, then Cas9 cleaves the plasmid target as well as the genomic target. This can reduce the efficiency of introducing sequences into the genome. Furthermore, to ensure the generation of a null allele near the Cas9 cleavage site, we generated a homology plasmid harboring a “stop codon cassette” with downstream near‐effortless genotyping.

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Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Publisher / Repository:
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Plant Direct
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  1. Abstract

    Until recently, precise genome editing has been limited to a few organisms. The ability of Cas9 to generate double stranded DNA breaks at specific genomic sites has greatly expanded molecular toolkits in many organisms and cell types. Before CRISPR‐Cas9 mediated genome editing,P. patenswas unique among plants in its ability to integrate DNA via homologous recombination. However, selection for homologous recombination events was required to obtain edited plants, limiting the types of editing that were possible. Now with CRISPR‐Cas9, molecular manipulations inP. patenshave greatly expanded. This protocol describes a method to generate a variety of different genome edits. The protocol describes a streamlined method to generate the Cas9/sgRNA expression constructs, design homology templates, transform, and quickly genotype plants. © 2023 Wiley Periodicals LLC.

    Basic Protocol 1: Constructing the Cas9/sgRNA transient expression vector

    Alternate Protocol 1: Shortcut to generating single and pooled Cas9/sgRNA expression vectors

    Basic Protocol 2: Designing the oligonucleotide‐based homology‐directed repair (HDR) template

    Alternate Protocol 2: Designing the plasmid‐based HDR template

    Basic Protocol 3: Inducing genome editing by transforming CRISPR vector intoP. patensprotoplasts

    Basic Protocol 4: Identifying edited plants.

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