ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-180918-5
Efficient Production and Identification of CRISPR/Cas9-generated Gene Knockouts in the Model System Danio rerio
Sorlien, E.L., Witucki, M.A., Ogas, J.
Characterization of the clustered, regularly interspaced, short, palindromic repeat (CRISPR) system of Streptococcus pyogenes has enabled the development of a customizable platform to rapidly generate gene modifications in a wide variety of organisms, including zebrafish. CRISPR-based genome editing uses a single guide RNA (sgRNA) to target a CRISPR-associated (Cas) endonuclease to a genomic DNA (gDNA) target of interest, where the Cas endonuclease generates a double-strand break (DSB). Repair of DSBs by error-prone mechanisms lead to insertions and/or deletions (indels). This can cause frameshift mutations that often introduce a premature stop codon within the coding sequence, thus creating a protein-null allele. CRISPR-based genome engineering requires only a few molecular components and is easily introduced into zebrafish embryos by microinjection. This protocol describes the methods used to generate CRISPR reagents for zebrafish microinjection and to identify fish exhibiting germline transmission of CRISPR-modified genes. These methods include in vitro transcription of sgRNAs, microinjection of CRISPR reagents, identification of indels induced at the target site using a PCR-based method called a heteroduplex mobility assay (HMA), and characterization of the indels using both a low throughput and a powerful next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based approach that can analyze multiple PCR products collected from heterozygous fish. This protocol is streamlined to minimize both the number of fish required and the types of equipment needed to perform the analyses. Furthermore, this protocol is designed to be amenable for use by laboratory personal of all levels of experience including undergraduates, enabling this powerful tool to be economically employed by any research group interested in performing CRISPR-based genomic modification in zebrafish.
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