A versatile genetic engineering toolkit for E. coli based on CRISPR-prime editing

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CRISPR base editing is a powerful method to engineer bacterial genomes. However, it restricts editing to single-nucleotide substitutions. Here, to address this challenge, we adapt a CRISPR-Prime Editing-based, DSB-free, versatile, and single-nucleotide resolution genetic manipulation toolkit for prokaryotes. It can introduce substitutions, deletions, insertions, and the combination thereof, both in plasmids and the chromosome of E. coli with high fidelity. Notably, under optimal conditions, the efficiency of 1-bp deletions reach up to 40%. Moreover, deletions of up to 97 bp and insertions up to 33 bp were successful with the toolkit in E. coli, however, efficiencies dropped sharply with increased fragment sizes. With a second guide RNA, our toolkit can achieve multiplexed editing albeit with low efficiency. Here we report not only a useful addition to the genome engineering arsenal for E. coli, but also a potential basis for the development of similar toolkits for other bacteria.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5206
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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