Cas9-mediated gene editing in the black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis, by embryo injection and ReMOT Control

Arvind Sharma, Michael N. Pham, Jeremiah B. Reyes, Randeep Chana, Won C. Yim, Chan C. Heu, Donghun Kim, Duverney Chaverra-Rodriguez, Jason L. Rasgon, Robert A. Harrell, Andrew B. Nuss, Monika Gulia-Nuss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite their capacity to acquire and pass on an array of debilitating pathogens, research on ticks has lagged behind other arthropod vectors, such as mosquitoes, largely because of challenges in applying available genetic and molecular tools. CRISPR-Cas9 is transforming non-model organism research; however, successful gene editing has not yet been reported in ticks. Technical challenges for injecting tick embryos to attempt gene editing have further slowed research progress. Currently, no embryo injection protocol exists for any chelicerate species, including ticks. Herein, we report a successful embryo injection protocol for the black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis, and the use of this protocol for genome editing with CRISPR-Cas9. We also demonstrate that the ReMOT Control technique could be successfully used to generate genome mutations outside Insecta. Our results provide innovative tools to the tick research community that are essential for advancing our understanding of the molecular mechanisms governing pathogen transmission by tick vectors and the underlying biology of host-vector-pathogen interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103781
JournaliScience
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 18 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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