0 Q&A 4817 Views Jun 20, 2024

Human babesiosis is a tick-borne disease caused by Babesia pathogens. The disease, which presents with malaria-like symptoms, can be life-threatening, especially in individuals with weakened immune systems and the elderly. The worldwide prevalence of human babesiosis has been gradually rising, prompting alarm among public health experts. In other pathogens, genetic techniques have proven to be valuable tools for conducting functional studies to understand the importance of specific genes in development and pathogenesis as well as to validate novel cellular targets for drug discovery. Genetic manipulation methods have been established for several non-human Babesia and Theileria species and, more recently, have begun to be developed for human Babesia parasites. We have previously reported the development of a method for genetic manipulation of the human pathogen Babesia duncani. This method is based on positive selection using the hDHFR gene as a selectable marker, whose expression is regulated by the ef-1aB promoter, along with homology regions that facilitate integration into the gene of interest through homologous recombination. Herein, we provide a detailed description of the steps needed to implement this strategy in B. duncani to study gene function. It is anticipated that the implementation of this method will significantly improve our understanding of babesiosis and facilitate the development of novel and more effective therapeutic strategies for the treatment of human babesiosis.

0 Q&A 5164 Views Jun 20, 2024

The Auxin-inducible degron (AID) system is a genetic tool that induces rapid target protein depletion in an auxin-dependent manner. Recently, two advanced AID systems—the super-sensitive AID and AID 2—were developed using an improved pair of synthetic auxins and mutated TIR1 proteins. In these AID systems, a nanomolar concentration of synthetic auxins is sufficient as a degradation inducer for target proteins. However, despite these advancements, AID systems still require the fusion of an AID tag to the target protein for degradation, potentially affecting its function and stability. To address this limitation, we developed an affinity linker–based super-sensitive AID (AlissAID) system using a single peptide antibody known as a nanobody. In this system, the degradation of GFP- or mCherry-tagged target proteins is induced in a synthetic auxin (5-Ad-IAA)–dependent manner. Here, we introduce a simple method for generating AlissAID strains targeting GFP or mCherry fusion proteins in budding yeasts.

0 Q&A 527 Views Apr 20, 2024

Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (CRISPR/Cas9) has become the state of the art for mutagenesis in filamentous fungi. Here, we describe a ribonucleoprotein complex (RNP)-mediated CRISPR/Cas9 for mutagenesis in Sporisorium reilianum. The efficiency of the method was tested in vitro with a cleavage assay as well as in vivo with a GFP-expressing S. reilianum strain. We applied this method to generate frameshift- and knock-out mutants in S. reilianum without a resistance marker by using an auto-replicating plasmid for selection. The RNP-mediated CRISPR/Cas9 increased the mutagenesis efficiency, can be applied for all kinds of mutations, and enables a marker-free genome editing in S. reilianum.

0 Q&A 419 Views Mar 20, 2024

Erwinia persicina is a gram-negative bacterium that causes diseases in plants. Recently, E. persicina BST187 was shown to exhibit broad-spectrum antibacterial activity due to its inhibitory effects on bacterial acetyl-CoA carboxylase, demonstrating promising potential as a biological control agent. However, the lack of suitable genetic manipulation techniques limits its exploitation and industrial application. Here, we developed an efficient transformation system for E. persicina. Using pET28a as the starting vector, the expression cassette of the red fluorescent protein–encoding gene with the strong promoter J23119 was constructed and transformed into BST187 competent cells to verify the overexpression system. Moreover, suicide plasmid–mediated genome editing systems was developed, and lacZ was knocked out of BST187 genome by parental conjugation transfer using the recombinant suicide vector pKNOCK-sacB-km-lacZ. Therefore, both the transformation and suicide plasmid–mediated genome editing system will greatly facilitate genetic manipulations in E. persicina and promote its development and application.

Key features

• Our studies establish a genetic manipulation system for Erwinia persicina, providing a versatile tool for studying the gene function of non-model microorganisms.

• Requires approximately 6–10 days to complete modification of a chromosome locus.

Graphical overview

0 Q&A 573 Views Nov 5, 2023

Cellular sensitivity is an approach to inhibit the growth of certain cells in response to any non-permissible conditions, as the presence of a cytotoxic agent or due to changes in growth parameters such as temperature, salt, or media components. Sensitivity tests are easy and informative assays to get insight into essential gene functions in various cellular processes. For example, cells having any functionally defective genes involved in DNA replication exhibit sensitivity to non-permissive temperatures and to chemical agents that block DNA replication fork movement. Here, we describe a sensitivity test for multiple strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida albicans of diverged genetic backgrounds subjected to several genotoxic chemicals simultaneously. We demonstrate it by testing the sensitivity of DNA polymerase defective yeast mutants by using spot analysis combined with colony forming unit (CFU) efficiency estimation. The method is very simple and inexpensive, does not require any sophisticated equipment, can be completed in 2–3 days, and provides both qualitative and quantitative data. We also recommend the use of this reliable methodology for assaying the sensitivity of these and other fungal species to antifungal drugs and xenobiotic factors.

0 Q&A 607 Views Mar 5, 2023

Malaria molecular surveillance has great potential to support national malaria control programs (NMCPs), informing policy for its control and elimination. Here, we present a new three-day workflow for targeted resequencing of markers in 13 resistance-associated genes, histidine rich protein 2 and 3 (hrp2&3), a country (Peru)-specific 28 SNP-barcode for population genetic analysis, and apical membrane antigen 1 (ama1), using Illumina short-read sequencing technology. The assay applies a multiplex PCR approach to amplify all genomic regions of interest in a rapid and easily standardizable procedure and allows simultaneous amplification of a high number of targets at once, therefore having great potential for implementation into routine surveillance practice by NMCPs. The assay can be performed on routinely collected filter paper blood spots and can be easily adapted to different regions to investigate either regional trends or in-country epidemiological changes.

0 Q&A 819 Views Sep 5, 2022

Geobacillus kaustophilus, a thermophilic Gram-positive bacterium, is an attractive host for the development of high-temperature bioprocesses. However, its reluctance against genetic manipulation by standard methodologies hampers its exploitation. Here, we describe a simple methodology in which an artificial DNA segment on the chromosome of Bacillus subtilis can be transferred via pLS20-mediated conjugation resulting in subsequent integration in the genome of G. kaustophilus. Therefore, we have developed a transformation strategy to design an artificial DNA segment on the chromosome of B. subtilis and introduce it into G. kaustophilus. The artificial DNA segment can be freely designed by taking advantage of the plasticity of the B. subtilis genome and combined with the simplicity of pLS20 conjugation transfer. This transformation strategy would adapt to various Gram-positive bacteria other than G. kaustophilus.

Graphical abstract:

0 Q&A 1489 Views Jun 5, 2022

Understanding the generation of mutations is fundamental to understanding evolution and genetic disease; however, the rarity of such events makes experimentally identifying them difficult. Mutation accumulation (MA) methods have been widely used. MA lines require serial bottlenecks to fix de novo mutations, followed by whole-genome sequencing. While powerful, this method is not suitable for exploring mutation variation among different genotypes due to its poor scalability with cost and labor. Alternatively, fluctuation assays estimate mutation rate in microorganisms by utilizing a reporter gene, in which Loss-of-function (LOF) mutations can be selected for using drugs toxic to cells containing the WT allele. Traditional fluctuation assays can estimate mutation rates but not their base change compositions. Here, we describe a new protocol that adapts traditional fluctuation assay using CAN1 reporter gene in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, followed by pooled sequencing methods, to identify both the rate and spectra of mutations in different strain backgrounds.

1 Q&A 2060 Views May 5, 2022

DNA methylation is a conserved chemical modification, by which methyl groups are added to the cytosine of DNA molecules. Methylation can influence gene expression without changing the sequence of a particular gene. This epigenetic effect is an intriguing phenomenon that has puzzled biologists for years. By probing the temporal and spatial patterns of DNA methylation in genomes, it is possible to learn about the biological role of cytosine methylation, as well as its involvement in gene regulation and transposon silencing. Advances in whole-genome sequencing have led to the widespread adoption of methods that examine genome-wide patterns of DNA methylation. Achieving sufficient sequencing depth in these types of experiments is costly, particularly for pilot studies in organisms with large genome sizes, or incomplete reference genomes. To overcome this issue, assays to determine site-specific DNA methylation can be used. Although often used, these assays are rarely described in detail. Here, we describe a pipeline that applies traditional TA cloning, Sanger sequencing, and online tools to examine DNA methylation. We provide an example of how to use this protocol to examine the pattern of DNA methylation at a specific transposable element in maize.

0 Q&A 1967 Views Mar 20, 2022

Phytophthora sojae is a model species for the study of plant pathogenic oomycetes. The initial research on gene function using Phytophthora was mainly based on gene silencing technology. Recently, the CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing technology was successfully established in P. sojae and widely used in oomycetes. In this protocol, we describe the operating procedures for the use of CRISPR/Cas9-based genome editing technology and PEG-mediated stable transformation of P. sojae protoplasts. Two plasmids were co-transformed into P. sojae: pYF515 expressing Cas9 and the single guide RNA, and the homologous replacement vector of the candidate gene. Finally, the ORF of candidate gene were replaced with the ORF of the entire hygromycin B phosphotransferase gene (HPH), to achieve precise knockout.