Image_3_Highly Efficient CRISPR-Mediated Base Editing in Sinorhizobium meliloti.TIF (651.26 kB)
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posted on 18.06.2021, 04:16 authored by Longxiang Wang, Yuan Xiao, Xiaowei Wei, Jimin Pan, Deqiang Duanmu

Rhizobia are widespread gram-negative soil bacteria and indispensable symbiotic partners of leguminous plants that facilitate the most highly efficient biological nitrogen fixation in nature. Although genetic studies in Sinorhizobium meliloti have advanced our understanding of symbiotic nitrogen fixation (SNF), the current methods used for genetic manipulations in Sinorhizobium meliloti are time-consuming and labor-intensive. In this study, we report the development of a few precise gene modification tools that utilize the CRISPR/Cas9 system and various deaminases. By fusing the Cas9 nickase to an adenine deaminase, we developed an adenine base editor (ABE) system that facilitated adenine-to-guanine transitions at one-nucleotide resolution without forming double-strand breaks (DSB). We also engineered a cytidine base editor (CBE) and a guanine base editor (GBE) that catalyze cytidine-to-thymine substitutions and cytidine-to-guanine transversions, respectively, by replacing adenine deaminase with cytidine deaminase and other auxiliary enzymes. All of these base editors are amenable to the assembly of multiple synthetic guide RNA (sgRNA) cassettes using Golden Gate Assembly to simultaneously achieve multigene mutations or disruptions. These CRISPR-mediated base editing tools will accelerate the functional genomics study and genome manipulation of rhizobia.

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