Heat-shock-inducible CRISPR/Cas9 system generates heritable mutations in rice.
ABSTRACT: Transient expression of CRISPR/Cas9 is an effective approach for limiting its activities and improving its precision in genome editing. Here, we describe the heat-shock-inducible CRISPR/Cas9 for controlled genome editing, and demonstrate its efficiency in the model crop, rice. Using the soybean heat-shock protein gene promoter and the rice U3 promoter to express Cas9 and sgRNA, respectively, we developed the heat-shock (HS)-inducible CRISPR/Cas9 system, and tested its efficacy in targeted mutagenesis. Two loci were targeted in rice, and the presence of targeted mutations was determined before and after the HS treatment. Only a low rate of targeted mutagenesis was detected before HS (~16%), but an increased rate of mutagenesis was observed after the HS treatment among the transgenic lines (50-63%). Analysis of regenerated plants harboring HS-CRISPR/Cas9 revealed that targeted mutagenesis was suppressed in the plants but induced by HS, which was detectable by Sanger sequencing after a few weeks of HS treatments. Most importantly, the HS-induced mutations were transmitted to the progeny at a high rate, generating monoallelic and biallelic mutations that independently segregated from the Cas9 gene. Additionally, off-target mutations were either undetectable or found at a lower rate in HS-CRISPR/Cas9 lines as compared to the constitutive-overexpression CRISPR/Cas9 lines. Taken together, this work shows that HS-CRISPR/Cas9 is a controlled and reasonably efficient platform for genome editing, and therefore, a promising tool for limiting genome-wide off-target effects and improving the precision of genome editing.
Project description:The CRISPR/Cas9 system is an efficient tool used for genome editing in a variety of organisms. Despite several recent reports of successful targeted mutagenesis using the CRISPR/Cas9 system in plants, in each case the target gene of interest, the Cas9 expression system and guide-RNA (gRNA) used, and the tissues used for transformation and subsequent mutagenesis differed, hence the reported frequencies of targeted mutagenesis cannot be compared directly. Here, we evaluated mutation frequency in rice using different Cas9 and/or gRNA expression cassettes under standardized experimental conditions. We introduced Cas9 and gRNA expression cassettes separately or sequentially into rice calli, and assessed the frequency of mutagenesis at the same endogenous targeted sequences. Mutation frequencies differed significantly depending on the Cas9 expression cassette used. In addition, a gRNA driven by the OsU6 promoter was superior to one driven by the OsU3 promoter. Using an all-in-one expression vector harboring the best combined Cas9/gRNA expression cassette resulted in a much improved frequency of targeted mutagenesis in rice calli, and bi-allelic mutant plants were produced in the T0 generation. The approach presented here could be adapted to optimize the construction of Cas9/gRNA cassettes for genome editing in a variety of plants.
Project description:The CRISPR/Cas9 system is becoming an important genome editing tool for crop breeding. Although it has been demonstrated that target mutations can be transmitted to the next generation, their inheritance pattern has not yet been fully elucidated. Here, we describe the CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing of four different rice genes with the help of online target-design tools. High-frequency mutagenesis and a large percentage of putative biallelic mutations were observed in T0 generations. Nonetheless, our results also indicate that the progeny genotypes of biallelic T0 lines are frequently difficult to predict and that the transmission of mutations largely does not conform to classical genetic laws, which suggests that the mutations in T0 transgenic rice are mainly somatic mutations. Next, we followed the inheritance pattern of T1 plants. Regardless of the presence of the CRISPR/Cas9 transgene, the mutations in T1 lines were stably transmitted to later generations, indicating a standard germline transmission pattern. Off-target effects were also evaluated, and our results indicate that with careful target selection, off-target mutations are rare in CRISPR/Cas9-mediated rice gene editing. Taken together, our results indicate the promising production of inheritable and "transgene clean" targeted genome-modified rice in the T1 generation using the CRISPR/Cas9 system.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Delivery of CRISPR reagents into cells as ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes enables transient editing, and avoids CRISPR reagent integration in the genomes. Another technical advantage is that RNP delivery can bypass the need of cloning and vector construction steps. In this work we compared efficacies and types of edits for three Cas9 (WT Cas9 nuclease, HiFi Cas9 nuclease, Cas9 D10A nickase) and two Cas12a nucleases (AsCas12a and LbCas12a), using the rice phytoene desaturase (PDS) gene as a target site. FINDINGS:Delivery of two Cas9 nucleases (WT Cas9, and HiFi Cas9) and one Cas12a nuclease (LbCas12a) resulted in targeted mutagenesis of the PDS gene. LbCas12a had a higher editing efficiency than that of WT Cas9 and HiFi Cas9. Editing by Cas9 enzymes resulted in indels (1-2?bp) or larger deletions between 20-bp to 30-bp, which included the loss of the PAM site; whereas LbCas12a editing resulted in deletions ranging between 2?bp to 20?bp without the loss of the PAM site. CONCLUSIONS:In this work, when a single target site of the rice gene OsPDS was evaluated, the LbCas12a RNP complex achieved a higher targeted mutagenesis frequency than the AsCas12a or Cas9 RNPs.
Project description:CRISPR/Cas9 systems are nowadays applied extensively to effect genome editing in various organisms including plants. CRISPR from Prevotella and Francisella 1 (Cpf1) is a newly characterized RNA-guided endonuclease that has two distinct features as compared to Cas9. First, Cpf1 utilizes a thymidine-rich protospacer adjacent motif (PAM) while Cas9 prefers a guanidine-rich PAM. Cpf1 could be used as a sequence-specific nuclease to target AT-rich regions of a genome that Cas9 had difficulty accessing. Second, Cpf1 generates DNA ends with a 5' overhang, whereas Cas9 creates blunt DNA ends after cleavage. "Sticky" DNA ends should increase the efficiency of insertion of a desired DNA fragment into the Cpf1-cleaved site using complementary DNA ends. Therefore, Cpf1 could be a potent tool for precise genome engineering. To evaluate whether Cpf1 can be applied to plant genome editing, we selected Cpf1 from Francisella novicida (FnCpf1), which recognizes a shorter PAM (TTN) within known Cpf1 proteins, and applied it to targeted mutagenesis in tobacco and rice. Our results show that targeted mutagenesis had occurred in transgenic plants expressing FnCpf1 with crRNA. Deletions of the targeted region were the most frequently observed mutations. Our results demonstrate that FnCpf1 can be applied successfully to genome engineering in plants.
Project description:The CRISPR/Cas9 system has been applied in diverse eukaryotic organisms for targeted mutagenesis. However, targeted gene editing is inefficient and requires the simultaneous delivery of a DNA template for homology-directed repair (HDR). Here, we used CRISPR/Cas9 to generate targeted double-strand breaks and to deliver an RNA repair template for HDR in rice (<i>Oryza sativa</i>). We used chimeric single-guide RNA (cgRNA) molecules carrying both sequences for target site specificity (to generate the double-strand breaks) and repair template sequences (to direct HDR), flanked by regions of homology to the target. Gene editing was more efficient in rice protoplasts using repair templates complementary to the non-target DNA strand, rather than the target strand. We applied this cgRNA repair method to generate herbicide resistance in rice, which showed that this cgRNA repair method can be used for targeted gene editing in plants. Our findings will facilitate applications in functional genomics and targeted improvement of crop traits.
Project description:Genome-editing is being implemented in increasing number of plant species using engineered sequence specific nucleases (SSNs) such as Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats/CRISPR-associated systems (CRISPR/Cas9), Transcription activator like effector nucleases (TALENs), and more recently CRISPR/Cas12a. As the tissue culture and regeneration procedures to generate gene-edited events are time consuming, large-scale screening methodologies that rapidly facilitate validation of genome-editing reagents are critical. Plant protoplast cells provide a rapid platform to validate genome-editing reagents. Protoplast transfection with plasmids expressing genome-editing reagents represents an efficient and cost-effective method to screen for in vivo activity of genome-editing constructs and resulting targeted mutagenesis. In this study, we compared three existing methods for detection of editing activity, the T7 endonuclease I assay (T7EI), PCR/restriction enzyme (PCR/RE) digestion, and amplicon-sequencing, with an alternative method which involves tagging a double-stranded oligodeoxynucleotide (dsODN) into the SSN-induced double stranded break and detection of on-target activity of gene-editing reagents by PCR and agarose gel electrophoresis. To validate these methods, multiple reagents including TALENs, CRISPR/Cas9 and Cas9 variants, eCas9(1.1) (enhanced specificity) and Cas9-HF1 (high-fidelity1) were engineered for targeted mutagenesis of Acetolactate synthase1 (ALS1), 5-Enolpyruvylshikimate- 3-phosphate synthase1 (EPSPS1) and their paralogs in potato. While all methods detected editing activity, the PCR detection of dsODN integration provided the most straightforward and easiest method to assess on-target activity of the SSN as well as a method for initial qualitative evaluation of the functionality of genome-editing constructs. Quantitative data on mutagenesis frequencies obtained by amplicon-sequencing of ALS1 revealed that the mutagenesis frequency of CRISPR/Cas9 reagents is better than TALENs. Context-based choice of method for evaluation of gene-editing reagents in protoplast systems, along with advantages and limitations associated with each method, are discussed.
Project description:Hybrid rice breeding offers an important strategy to improve rice production, in which the cultivation of a male sterile line is the key to the success of cross-breeding. CRISPR/Cas9 systems have been widely used in target-site genome editing, whereas their application for crop genetic improvement has been rarely reported. Here, using the CRISPR/Cas9 system, we induced specific mutations in TMS5, which is the most widely applied thermo-sensitive genic male sterility (TGMS) gene in China, and developed new "transgene clean" TGMS lines. We designed 10 target sites in the coding region of TMS5 for targeted mutagenesis using the CRISPR/Cas9 system and assessed the potential rates of on- and off-target effects. Finally, we established the most efficient construct, the TMS5ab construct, for breeding potentially applicable "transgene clean" TGMS lines. We also discussed factors that affect the editing efficiency according to the characteristics of different target sequences. Notably, using the TMS5ab construct, we developed 11 new "transgene clean" TGMS lines with potential applications in hybrid breeding within only one year in both rice subspecies. The application of our system not only significantly accelerates the breeding of sterile lines but also facilitates the exploitation of heterosis.
Project description:Split-protein methods-where a protein is split into two inactive fragments that must re-assemble to form an active protein-can be used to regulate the activity of a given protein and reduce the size of gene transcription units. Here, we show that a Staphylococcus aureus Cas9 (SaCas9) can be split, and that split-SaCas9 expressed from Agrobacterium can induce targeted mutagenesis in Nicotiana benthamiana. Since SaCas9 is smaller than the more commonly used Cas9 derived from Streptococcus pyogenes, the split-SaCas9 provides the smallest tool yet for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) plant genome editing. Both sets of split-SaCas9 (_430N/431C and _739N/740C) exhibited genome-editing activity, and the activity of split-SaCas9_739N/740C was almost the same as that of full-length SaCas9. This result indicates that split-SaCas9_739N/740C is suitable for use in targeted mutagenesis. We also show that the split-SaCas9 fragment expressed from Tomato mosaic virus could induce targeted mutagenesis together with another fragment expressed from Agrobacterium, suggesting that a split-SaCas9 system using a plant virus vector is a promising tool for integration-free plant genome editing. Split-SaCas9 has the potential to regulate CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing activity in plant cells both temporally and spatially.
Project description:Genome editing technology represented by CRISPR-Cas9 had been widely used in many biological fields such as gene function analysis, gene therapy, and crop improvement. However, in the face of the complexity of the eukaryotic genome, the CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing tools have shown an unstable editing efficiency with large variability at different target sites. It was important to further improve the editing efficiency of the CRISPR-Cas9 system among the whole genome. In this study, based on the previous single transcription unit genome editing system (STU-SpCas9), using the ubiquitin-associated domain (UBA) to enhance the stability of Cas9 protein, we constructed three Cas9-UBA fusion systems (SpCas9-SD01, SpCas9-SD02, and SpCas9-SD03). Four different target sites of rice OsPDS, OsDEP1 and OsROC5 genes were chosen to evaluate the genome editing efficiency in rice protoplasts and stable transformed rice plants. The results showed that the fusion of UBA domains did not affect the cleavage mode of Cas9 protein, and effectively increase the editing efficiency of STU-SpCas9 at the target sites. This new CRISPR-Cas9-UBA system provided a new strategy and tool for improving the genome editing efficiency of CRISPR-Cas9 in plants.
Project description:The CRISPR/Cas9 system has been successfully used in hexaploid wheat. Although it has been reported that the induced mutations can be passed to the next generation, gene editing and transmission patterns in later generations still need to be studied. In this study, we demonstrated that the CRISPR/Cas9 system could achieve efficient mutagenesis in five wheat genes via Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of an sgRNA targeting the D genome, an sgRNA targeting both the A and B homologues and three tri-genome guides targeting the editing of all three homologues. High mutation rates and putative homozygous or biallelic mutations were observed in the T0 plants. The targeted mutations could be stably inherited by the next generation, and the editing efficiency of each mutant line increased significantly across generations. The editing types and inheritance of targeted mutagenesis were similar, which were not related to the targeted subgenome number. The presence of Cas9/sgRNA could cause new mutations in subsequent generations, while mutated lines without Cas9/sgRNA could retain the mutation type. Additionally, off-target mutations were not found in sequences that were highly homologous to the selected sgRNA sequences. Overall, the results suggested that CRISPR/Cas9-induced gene editing via Agrobacterium-mediated transformation plays important roles in wheat genome engineering.