Direct and Inverted Repeat stimulated excision (DIRex): Simple, single-step, and scar-free mutagenesis of bacterial genes.
ABSTRACT: The need for generating precisely designed mutations is common in genetics, biochemistry, and molecular biology. Here, I describe a new ? Red recombineering method (Direct and Inverted Repeat stimulated excision; DIRex) for fast and easy generation of single point mutations, small insertions or replacements as well as deletions of any size, in bacterial genes. The method does not leave any resistance marker or scar sequence and requires only one transformation to generate a semi-stable intermediate insertion mutant. Spontaneous excision of the intermediate efficiently and accurately generates the final mutant. In addition, the intermediate is transferable between strains by generalized transductions, enabling transfer of the mutation into multiple strains without repeating the recombineering step. Existing methods that can be used to accomplish similar results are either (i) more complicated to design, (ii) more limited in what mutation types can be made, or (iii) require expression of extrinsic factors in addition to ? Red. I demonstrate the utility of the method by generating several deletions, small insertions/replacements, and single nucleotide exchanges in Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica. Furthermore, the design parameters that influence the excision frequency and the success rate of generating desired point mutations have been examined to determine design guidelines for optimal efficiency.
Project description:Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)-Cas12a (Cpf1) has emerged as an effective genome editing tool in many organisms. Here, we developed and optimized a CRISPR-Cas12a-assisted recombineering system to facilitate genetic manipulation in bacteria. Using this system, point mutations, deletions, insertions, and gene replacements can be easily generated on the chromosome or native plasmids in <i>Escherichia coli</i>, <i>Yersinia pestis</i>, and <i>Mycobacterium smegmatis</i> Because CRISPR-Cas12a-assisted recombineering does not require introduction of an antibiotic resistance gene into the chromosome to select for recombinants, it is an efficient approach for generating markerless and scarless mutations in bacteria.<b>IMPORTANCE</b> The CRISPR-Cas9 system has been widely used to facilitate genome editing in many bacteria. CRISPR-Cas12a (Cpf1), a new type of CRISPR-Cas system, allows efficient genome editing in bacteria when combined with recombineering. Cas12a and Cas9 recognize different target sites, which allows for more precise selection of the cleavage target and introduction of the desired mutation. In addition, CRISPR-Cas12a-assisted recombineering can be used for genetic manipulation of plasmids and plasmid curing. Finally, Cas12a-assisted recombineering in the generation of point mutations, deletions, insertions, and replacements in bacteria has been systematically analyzed. Taken together, our findings will guide efficient Cas12a-mediated genome editing in bacteria.
Project description:Recombineering and multiplex automated genome engineering (MAGE) offer the possibility to rapidly modify multiple genomic or plasmid sites at high efficiencies. This enables efficient creation of genetic variants including both single mutants with specifically targeted modifications as well as combinatorial cell libraries. Manual design of oligonucleotides for these approaches can be tedious, time-consuming, and may not be practical for larger projects targeting many genomic sites. At present, the change from a desired phenotype (e.g. altered expression of a specific protein) to a designed MAGE oligo, which confers the corresponding genetic change, is performed manually. To address these challenges, we have developed the MAGE Oligo Design Tool (MODEST). This web-based tool allows designing of MAGE oligos for (i) tuning translation rates by modifying the ribosomal binding site, (ii) generating translational gene knockouts and (iii) introducing other coding or non-coding mutations, including amino acid substitutions, insertions, deletions and point mutations. The tool automatically designs oligos based on desired genotypic or phenotypic changes defined by the user, which can be used for high efficiency recombineering and MAGE. MODEST is available for free and is open to all users at http://modest.biosustain.dtu.dk.
Project description:Recombineering is a widely-used approach to delete genes, introduce insertions and point mutations, and introduce epitope tags into bacterial chromosomes. Many recombineering methods have been described, for a wide range of bacterial species. These methods are often limited by (i) low efficiency, and/or (ii) introduction of "scar" DNA into the chromosome. Here, we describe a rapid, efficient, PCR-based recombineering method, FRUIT, that can be used to introduce scar-free point mutations, deletions, epitope tags, and promoters into the genomes of enteric bacteria. The efficiency of FRUIT is far higher than that of the most widely-used recombineering method for Escherichia coli. We have used FRUIT to introduce point mutations and epitope tags into the chromosomes of E. coli K-12, Enterotoxigenic E. coli, and Salmonella enterica. We have also used FRUIT to introduce constitutive and inducible promoters into the chromosome of E. coli K-12. Thus, FRUIT is a versatile, efficient recombineering approach that can be applied in multiple species of enteric bacteria.
Project description:We have developed a new ? Red recombineering methodology for generating transient selection markers that can be used to transfer mutations between bacterial strains of both Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica. The method is fast, simple and allows for the construction of strains with several mutations without any unwanted sequence changes (scar-free). The method uses ? Red recombineering to generate a marker-held tandem duplication, termed Duplication-Insertion (Dup-In). The Dup-Ins can easily be transferred between strains by generalized transduction and are subsequently rapidly lost by homologous recombination between the two copies of the duplicated sequence, leaving no scar sequence or antibiotic resistance cassette behind. We demonstrate the utility of the method by generating several Dup-Ins in E. coli and S. enterica to transfer genetically linked mutations in both essential and non-essential genes. We have successfully used this methodology to re-construct mutants found after various types of selections, and to introduce foreign genes into the two species. Furthermore, recombineering with two overlapping fragments was as efficient as recombineering with the corresponding single large fragment, allowing more complicated constructions without the need for overlap extension PCR.
Project description:Gene conversion is the unidirectional transfer of genetic information between orthologous (allelic) or paralogous (nonallelic) genomic segments. Though a number of studies have examined nucleotide replacements, little is known about length difference mutations produced by gene conversion. Here, we investigate insertions and deletions produced by nonallelic gene conversion in 338 Drosophila and 10,149 primate paralogs. Using a direct phylogenetic approach, we identify 179 insertions and 614 deletions in Drosophila paralogs, and 132 insertions and 455 deletions in primate paralogs. Thus, nonallelic gene conversion is strongly deletion-biased in both lineages, with almost 3.5 times as many conversion-induced deletions as insertions. In primates, the deletion bias is considerably stronger for long indels and, in both lineages, the per-site rate of gene conversion is orders of magnitudes higher than that of ordinary mutation. Due to this high rate, deletion-biased nonallelic gene conversion plays a key role in genome size evolution, leading to the cooperative shrinkage and eventual disappearance of selectively neutral paralogs.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The development of modern producer strains with metabolically engineered pathways poses special problems that often require manipulating many genes and expressing them individually at different levels or under separate regulatory controls. The construction of plasmid-less marker-less strains has many advantages for the further practical exploitation of these bacteria in industry. Such producer strains are usually constructed by sequential chromosome modifications including deletions and integration of genetic material. For these purposes complex methods based on in vitro and in vivo recombination processes have been developed. RESULTS: Here, we describe the new scheme of insertion of the foreign DNA for step-by-step construction of plasmid-less marker-less recombinant E. coli strains with chromosome structure designed in advance. This strategy, entitled as Dual-In/Out, based on the initial Red-driven insertion of artificial phi80-attB sites into desired points of the chromosome followed by two site-specific recombination processes: first, the phi80 system is used for integration of the recombinant DNA based on selective marker-carrier conditionally-replicated plasmid with phi80-attP-site, and second, the lambda system is used for excision of inserted vector part, including the plasmid ori-replication and the marker, flanked by lambda-attL/R-sites. CONCLUSION: The developed Dual-In/Out strategy is a rather straightforward, but convenient combination of previously developed recombination methods: phages site-specific and general Red/ET-mediated. This new approach allows us to detail the design of future recombinant marker-less strains, carrying, in particular, rather large artificial insertions that could be difficult to introduce by usually used PCR-based Recombineering procedure. The developed strategy is simple and could be particularly useful for construction of strains for the biotechnological industry.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The Red proteins of lambda phage mediate probably the simplest and most efficient homologous recombination reactions yet described. However the mechanism of dsDNA recombination remains undefined.<h4>Results</h4>Here we show that the Red proteins can act via full length single stranded intermediates to establish single stranded heteroduplexes at the replication fork. We created asymmetrically digestible dsDNA substrates by exploiting the fact that Redalpha exonuclease activity requires a 5' phosphorylated end, or is blocked by phosphothioates. Using these substrates, we found that the most efficient configuration for dsDNA recombination occurred when the strand that can prime Okazaki-like synthesis contained both homology regions on the same ssDNA molecule. Furthermore, we show that Red recombination requires replication of the target molecule.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Hence we propose a new model for dsDNA recombination, termed 'beta' recombination, based on the formation of ssDNA heteroduplexes at the replication fork. Implications of the model were tested using (i) an in situ assay for recombination, which showed that recombination generated mixed wild type and recombinant colonies; and (ii) the predicted asymmetries of the homology arms, which showed that recombination is more sensitive to non-homologies attached to 5' than 3' ends. Whereas beta recombination can generate deletions in target BACs of at least 50 kb at about the same efficiency as small deletions, the converse event of insertion is very sensitive to increasing size. Insertions up to 3 kb are most efficiently achieved using beta recombination, however at greater sizes, an alternative Red-mediated mechanism(s) appears to be equally efficient. These findings define a new intermediate in homologous recombination, which also has practical implications for recombineering with the Red proteins.
Project description:Most insertions or deletions generated by CRISPR/Cas9 (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated protein 9) endonucleases are short (<25 bp), but unpredictable on-target long DNA deletions (>500 bp) can be observed. The possibility of generating long on-target DNA deletions poses safety risks to somatic genome editing and makes the outcomes of genome editing less predictable. Methods for generating refined mutations are desirable but currently unavailable. Here, we show that fusing Escherichia coli DNA polymerase I or the Klenow fragment to Cas9 greatly increases the frequencies of 1-bp deletions and decreases >1-bp deletions or insertions. Importantly, doing so also greatly decreases the generation of long deletions, including those >2 kb. In addition, templated insertions (the insertion of the nucleotide 4 nt upstream of the protospacer adjacent motif) were increased relative to other insertions. Counteracting DNA resection was one of the mechanisms perturbing deletion sizes. Targeting DNA polymerase to double-strand breaks did not increase off-targets or base substitution rates around the cleavage sites, yet increased editing efficiency in primary cells. Our strategy makes it possible to generate refined DNA mutations for improved safety without sacrificing efficiency of genome editing.
Project description:Genome engineering methods in E. coli allow for easy to perform manipulations of the chromosome in vivo with the assistance of the ?-Red recombinase system. These methods generally rely on the insertion of an antibiotic resistance cassette followed by removal of the same cassette, resulting in a two-step procedure for genomic manipulations. Here we describe a method and plasmid system that can edit the genome of E. coli without chromosomal markers. This system, known as Scarless Cas9 Assisted Recombineering (no-SCAR), uses ?-Red to facilitate genomic integration of donor DNA and double stranded DNA cleavage by Cas9 to counterselect against wild-type cells. We show that point mutations, gene deletions, and short sequence insertions were efficiently performed in several genomic loci in a single-step with regards to the chromosome and did not leave behind scar sites. The single-guide RNA encoding plasmid can be easily cured due to its temperature sensitive origin of replication, allowing for iterative chromosomal manipulations of the same strain, as is often required in metabolic engineering. In addition, we demonstrate the ability to efficiently cure the second plasmid in the system by targeting with Cas9, leaving the cells plasmid-free.
Project description:Advances in DNA sequencing technology have facilitated the determination of hundreds of complete genome sequences both for bacteria and their bacteriophages. Some of these bacteria have well-developed and facile genetic systems for constructing mutants to determine gene function, and recombineering is a particularly effective tool. However, generally applicable methods for constructing defined mutants of bacteriophages are poorly developed, in part because of the inability to use selectable markers such as drug resistance genes during viral lytic growth. Here we describe a method for simple and effective directed mutagenesis of bacteriophage genomes using Bacteriophage Recombineering of Electroporated DNA (BRED), in which a highly efficient recombineering system is utilized directly on electroporated phage DNA; no selection is required and mutants can be readily detected by PCR. We describe the use of BRED to construct unmarked gene deletions, in-frame internal deletions, base substitutions, precise gene replacements, and the addition of gene tags.