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Chemical transformation mediated CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing in Escherichia coli

Sun, Dongchang, Wang, Lin, Mao, Xudan, Fei, Mingyue, Chen, Yiyang, Shen, Minjia, Qiu, Juanping
Biotechnology letters 2019 v.41 no.2 pp. 293-303
DNA fragmentation, Escherichia coli, calcium chloride, electroporation, gene editing, genome
OBJECTIVES: To develop a convenient chemical transformation mediated CRISPR/Cas9 (CT-CRISPR/Cas9) system for genome editing in Escherichia coli. RESULTS: Here, we have constructed a CT-CRISPR/Cas9 system, which can precisely edit bacterial genome (replacing, deleting, inserting or point mutating a target gene) through chemical transformation. Compared with the traditional electroporation mediated CRISPR/Cas9 (ET-CRISPR/Cas9) system, genome editing with the CT-CRISPR/Cas9 system is much cheaper and simpler. In the CT-CRISPR/Cas9 system, we observed efficient genome editing on LB-agar plates. The CT-CRISPR/Cas9 system has successfully modified the target gene with the editing template flanked by short homologous DNA fragments (~ 50 bp) which were designed in primers. We used the lab-made CaCl₂ solution to perform the CT-CRISPR/Cas9 experiment and successfully edited the genome of E. coli. Potential application of the CT-CRISPR/Cas9 system in high-throughput genome editing was evaluated in two E. coli strains by using a multiwell plate. CONCLUSIONS: Our work provides a simple and cheap genome-editing method, that is expected to be widely applied as a routine genetic engineering method.