Generation of knock-in lampreys by CRISPR-Cas9-mediated genome engineering



The lamprey represents the oldest group of living vertebrates and has been a key organism in various research fields such as evolutionary developmental biology and neuroscience. However, no knock-in technique for this animal has been established yet, preventing application of advanced genetic techniques. Here, we report efficient generation of F0 knock-in lampreys by CRISPR-Cas9-mediated genome editing. A donor plasmid containing a heat-shock promoter was co-injected with a short guide RNA (sgRNA) for genome digestion, a sgRNA for donor plasmid digestion, and Cas9 mRNA. Targeting different genetic loci, we succeeded in generating knock-in lampreys expressing photoconvertible protein Dendra2 as well as those expressing EGFP. With its simplicity, design flexibility, and high efficiency, we propose that the present method has great versatility for various experimental uses in lamprey research and that it can also be applied to other “non-model” organisms.

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