Development of a marker-free mutagenesis system using CRISPR-Cas9 in the pathogenic mould Aspergillus fumigatus

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Abstract

Aspergillus fumigatus is a saprophytic fungal pathogen that is the cause of more than 300,000 life-threatening infections annually. Our understanding of pathogenesis and factors contributing to disease progression are limited. Development of rapid and versatile gene editing methodologies for A. fumigatus is essential. CRISPR-Cas9 mediated transformation has been widely used as a novel genome editing tool and has been used for a variety of editing techniques, such as protein tagging, gene deletions and site-directed mutagenesis in A. fumigatus . However, successful genome editing relies on time consuming, multi-step cloning procedures paired with the use of selection markers, which can result in a metabolic burden for the host and/or unintended transcriptional modifications at the site of integration. We have used an in vitro CRISPR-Cas9 assembly methodology to perform selection-free genome editing, including epitope tagging of proteins and site-directed mutagenesis. The repair
template used during this transformation can be obtained with a single PCR reaction or by purchasing synthesised single stranded oligonucleotides, decreasing the time required for complex construct synthesis.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalFungal Genetics and Biology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 20 Oct 2020

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