Insect biochemistry and molecular biology

An integrated CRISPR Bombyx mori genome editing system with improved efficiency and expanded target sites.

PMID 28189747


Genome editing enabled unprecedented new opportunities for targeted genomic engineering of a wide variety of organisms ranging from microbes, plants, animals and even human embryos. The serial establishing and rapid applications of genome editing tools significantly accelerated Bombyx mori (B.xa0mori) research during the past years. However, the only CRISPR system in B.xa0mori was the commonly used SpCas9, which only recognize target sites containing NGG PAM sequence. In the present study, we first improve the efficiency of our previous established SpCas9 system by 3.5 folds. The improved high efficiency was also observed at several loci in both BmNs cells and B.xa0mori embryos. Then to expand the target sites, we showed that two newly discovered CRISPR system, SaCas9 and AsCpf1, could also induce highly efficient site-specific genome editing in BmNs cells, and constructed an integrated CRISPR system. Genome-wide analysis of targetable sites was further conducted and showed that the integrated system cover 69,144,399 sites in B.xa0mori genome, and one site could be found in every 6.5xa0bp. The efficiency and resolution of this CRISPR platform will probably accelerate both fundamental researches and applicable studies in B.xa0mori, and perhaps other insects.