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Multiplex CRISPR-Cas9 mutagenesis of the phytochrome gene family in Physcomitrium (Physcomitrella) patens

Abstract : Key message We mutated all seven Physcomitrium (Physcomitrella) patens phytochrome genes using highly-efficient CRISPR-Cas9 procedures. We thereby identified phy5a as the phytochrome primarily responsible for inhibiting gravitropism, proving the utility of the mutant library. The CRISPR-Cas9 system is a powerful tool for genome editing. Here we report highly-efficient multiplex CRISPR-Cas9 editing of the seven-member phytochrome gene family in the model bryophyte Physcomitrium (Physcomitrella) patens. Based on the co-delivery of an improved Cas9 plasmid with multiple sgRNA plasmids and an efficient screening procedure to identify high-order multiple mutants prior to sequencing, we demonstrate successful targeting of all seven PHY genes in a single transfection. We investigated further aspects of the CRISPR methodology in Physcomitrella, including the significance of spacing between paired sgRNA targets and the efficacy of NHEJ and HDR in repairing the chromosome when excising a complete locus. As proof-of-principle, we show that the septuple phy(-) mutant remains gravitropic in light, in line with expectations, and on the basis of data from lower order multiplex knockouts conclude that phy5a is the principal phytochrome responsible for inhibiting gravitropism in light. We expect, therefore, that this mutant collection will be valuable for further studies of phytochrome function and that the methods we describe will allow similar approaches to revealing specific functions in other gene families.
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Contributor : Christopher Lallemant <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, March 2, 2021 - 10:21:07 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, May 6, 2021 - 10:50:21 AM

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Silvia Trogu, Anna Lena Ermert, Fabian Stahl, Fabien Nogué, Tanja Gans, et al.. Multiplex CRISPR-Cas9 mutagenesis of the phytochrome gene family in Physcomitrium (Physcomitrella) patens. Plant Molecular Biology, Springer Verlag (Germany), 2020, ⟨10.1007/s11103-020-01103-x⟩. ⟨hal-03155880⟩



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