RNA silencing suppressor-influenced performance of a virus vector delivering both guide RNA and Cas9 for CRISPR gene editing
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We report on further development of the agroinfiltratable Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV)-based overexpression (TRBO) vector to deliver CRISPR/Cas9 components into plants. First, production of a Cas9 (HcoCas9) protein from a binary plasmid increased when co-expressed in presence of suppressors of gene silencing, such as the TMV 126-kDa replicase or the Tomato bushy stunt virus P19 protein. Such suppressor-generated elevated levels of Cas9 expression translated to efficient gene editing mediated by TRBO-G-3'gGFP expressing GFP and also a single guide RNA targeting the mgfp5 gene in the Nicotiana benthamiana GFP-expressing line 16c. Furthermore, HcoCas9 encoding RNA, a large cargo insert of 4.2 kb, was expressed from TRBO-HcoCas9 to yield Cas9 protein again at higher levels upon co-expression with P19. Likewise, co-delivery of TRBO-HcoCas9 and TRBO-G-3'gGFP in the presence of P19 also resulted in elevated levels percentages of indels (insertions and deletions). These data also revealed an age-related phenomenon in plants whereby the RNA suppressor P19 had more of an effect in older plants. Lastly, we used a single TRBO vector to express both Cas9 and a sgRNA. Taken together, we suggest that viral RNA suppressors could be used for further optimization of single viral vector delivery of CRISPR gene editing parts.
author list (cited authors)
Chiong, K. T., Cody, W. B., & Scholthof, H. B.