Brocal, I., White, R.J., Dooley, C.M., Carruthers, S.N., Clark, R., Hall, A., Busch-Nentwich, E.M., Stemple, D.L., Kettleborough, R.N. (2016) Efficient identification of CRISPR/Cas9-induced insertions/deletions by direct germline screening in zebrafish. BMC Genomics. 17:259.
Background The CRISPR/Cas9 system is a prokaryotic immune system that infers resistance to foreign genetic material and is a sort of 'adaptive immunity'. It has been adapted to enable high throughput genome editing and has revolutionised the generation of targeted mutations.
Results We have developed a scalable analysis pipeline to identify CRISPR/Cas9 induced mutations in hundreds of samples using next generation sequencing (NGS) of amplicons. We have used this system to investigate the best way to screen mosaic Zebrafish founder individuals for germline transmission of induced mutations. Screening sperm samples from potential founders provides much better information on germline transmission rates and crucially the sequence of the particular insertions/deletions (indels) that will be transmitted. This enables us to combine screening with archiving to create a library of cryopreserved samples carrying known mutations. It also allows us to design efficient genotyping assays, making identifying F1 carriers straightforward.
Conclusions The methods described will streamline the production of large numbers of knockout alleles in selected genes for phenotypic analysis, complementing existing efforts using random mutagenesis.