Fluorescence Marker-Assisted Isolation of Cas9-Free and CRISPR-Edited Arabidopsis Plants
CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology has successfully introduced modifications at target DNA sequences in many plant species including Arabidopsis. After the target gene is edited, the CRISPR/Cas9 construct needs to be removed to ensure genetic stability and to gain any regulatory approval for commercial applications. However, removal of the transgenes by genetic segregation, backcross, and genotyping is very laborious and time-consuming. The methods we report here allow fast and effective isolation of transgene-free T2 Arabidopsis plants with the desired modifications at the target genes. We express a fluorescence protein mCherry under the control of a seed-specific promoter At2S3 and placed the cassette into the CRISPR/Cas9 vector. Therefore, we can use mCherry as a proxy for the presence of Cas9, and we are able to visually isolate the Cas9-free Arabidopsis plants with heritable mutations at the T2 generation. We targeted two sites in the ABP1 gene to demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach.
Key wordsCRISPR/Cas9 mCherry Agrobacterium transformation Floral dipping RGR ABP1
Our research is supported by the NIH grant R01GM114660 to YZ.
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