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High-throughput targeted gene deletion in the model mushroom Schizophyllum commune using pre-assembled Cas9 ribonucleoproteins

By Peter Jan Vonk, Natalia Escobar, Han A B Wösten, Luis G Lugones, Robin A. Ohm

Posted 28 Feb 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/563759 (published DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-44133-2)

Efficient gene deletion methods are essential for the high-throughput study of gene function. Compared to most ascomycete model systems, gene deletion is more laborious in mushroom-forming basidiomycetes due to the relatively low incidence of homologous recombination (HR) and relatively high incidence of non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ). Here, we describe the use of pre-assembled Cas9-sgRNA ribonucleoproteins (RNPs) to efficiently delete the homeodomain transcription factor gene hom2 in the mushroom-forming basidiomycete Schizophyllum commune by replacing it with a selectable marker. All components (Cas9 protein, sgRNA, and repair template with selectable marker) were supplied to wild type protoplasts by PEG-mediated transformation, abolishing the need to optimize the expression of cas9 and sgRNAs. A Δku80 background further increased the efficiency of gene deletion. A repair template with homology arms of 250 bp was sufficient to induce homologous recombination, whereas 100 bp was not. This is the first report of the use of pre-assembled Cas9 RNPs in a mushroom-forming basidiomycete and this approach may also improve the genetic accessibility of non-model species.

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