Bioscience, biotechnology, and biochemistry

Using the CRISPR/Cas9 system to eliminate native plasmids of Zymomonas mobilis ZM4.

PMID 27900888


The CRISPR/Cas system can be used to simply and efficiently edit the genomes of various species, including animals, plants, and microbes. Zymomonas mobilis ZM4 is a highly efficient, ethanol-producing bacterium that contains five native plasmids. Here, we constructed the pSUZM2a-Cas9 plasmid and a single-guide RNA expression plasmid. The pSUZM2a-Cas9 plasmid was used to express the Cas9 gene cloned from Streptococcus pyogenes CICC 10464. The single-guide RNA expression plasmid pUC-T7sgRNA, with a T7 promoter, can be used for the in vitro synthesis of single-guide RNAs. This system was successfully employed to knockout the upp gene of Escherichia coli and the replicase genes of native Z. mobilis plasmids. This is the first study to apply the CRISPR/Cas9 system of S. pyogenes to eliminate native plasmids in Z. mobilis. It provides a new method for plasmid curing and paves the way for the genomic engineering of Z. mobilis.