Article

Physiological impact and comparison of mutant screening methods in piwil2 KO founder Nile tilapia produced by CRISPR/Cas9 system

Citation

Jin YH, Liao B, Migaud H & Davie A (2020) Physiological impact and comparison of mutant screening methods in piwil2 KO founder Nile tilapia produced by CRISPR/Cas9 system. Scientific Reports, 10 (1), Art. No.: 12600. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-69421-0

Abstract
The application of genome engineering techniques to understand the mechanisms that regulate germ cell development opens promising new avenues to develop methods to control sexual maturation and mitigate associated detrimental effects in fish. In this study, the functional role of piwil2 in primordial germ cells (PGCs) was investigated in Nile tilapia using CRISPR/Cas9 and the resultant genotypes were further explored. piwil2 is a gonad-specific and maternally deposited gene in Nile tilapia eggs which is known to play a role in repression of transposon elements and is therefore thought to be important for maintaining germline cell fate. A functional domain of piwil2, PIWI domain, was targeted by injecting Cas9 mRNA and sgRNAs into Nile tilapia embryos at 1 cell stage. Results showed 54% of injected mutant larvae had no or less putative PGCs compared to control fish, suggesting an essential role of piwil2 in survival of PGCs. The genotypic features of the different phenotypic groups were explored by next generation sequencing (NGS) and other mutant screening methods including T7 endonuclease 1 (T7E1), CRISPR/Cas-derived RNA-guided engineered nuclease (RGEN), high resolution melt curve analysis (HRMA) and fragment analysis. Linking phenotypes to genotypes in F0 was hindered by the complex mosacism and wide indel spectrum revealed by NGS and fragment analysis. This study strongly suggests the functional importance of piwil2 in PGCs survival. Further studies should focus on reducing mosaicism when using CRISPR/Cas9 system to facilitate direct functional analysis in F0.

Keywords
CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing; Ichthyology; Reproductive biology

Journal
Scientific Reports: Volume 10, Issue 1

StatusPublished
FundersUniversity of Stirling and Sun Moon University
Publication date31/12/2020
Publication date online31/07/2020
Date accepted by journal09/07/2020
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/31524
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media LLC
eISSN2045-2322