Efficient Genome Editing in Caenorhabditis elegans with a Toolkit of Dual-Marker Selection Cassettes.

Norris AD, Kim HM, Colaiácovo MP, Calarco JA

Genetics 2015 Oct; 201(2):449-58

PMID: 26232410

Abstract

Use of the CRISPR/Cas9 RNA-guided endonuclease complex has recently enabled the generation of double-strand breaks virtually anywhere in the C. elegans genome. Here, we present an improved strategy that makes all steps in the genome editing process more efficient. We have created a toolkit of template-mediated repair cassettes that contain an antibiotic resistance gene to select for worms carrying the repair template and a fluorescent visual marker that facilitates identification of bona fide recombinant animals. Homozygous animals can be identified as early as 4-5 days post-injection, and minimal genotyping by PCR is required. We demonstrate that our toolkit of dual-marker vectors can generate targeted disruptions, deletions, and endogenous tagging with fluorescent proteins and epitopes. This strategy should be useful for a wide variety of additional applications and will provide researchers with increased flexibility when designing genome editing experiments.