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A homing CRISPR mouse resource for barcoding and lineage tracing

By Reza Kalhor, Kian Kalhor, Kathleen Leeper, Amanda Graveline, Prashant Mali, George M. Church

Posted 12 Mar 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/280289 (published DOI: 10.1126/science.aat9804)

Cellular barcoding using nuclease-induced genetic mutations is an effective approach that is emerging for recording biological information, including developmental lineages. We have previously introduced the homing CRISPR system as a promising methodology for generating such barcodes with scalable diversity and without crosstalk. Here, we present a mouse line (MARC1) with multiple genomically-integrated and heritable homing guide RNAs (hgRNAs). We determine the genomic locations of these hgRNAs, their activity profiles during gestation, and the diversity of their mutants. We apply the line for unique barcoding of mouse embryos and differential barcoding of embryonic tissues. We conclude that this mouse line can address the unique challenges associated with in vivo barcoding in mammalian model organisms and is thus an enabling platform for recording and lineage tracing applications in a mammalian model system.

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