Organisms with targeted genomic modifications are efficiently produced by gene editing in embryos using CRISPR/Cas9 RNA-guided DNA endonuclease. Here, to facilitate germline editing in rats, we used CRISPR/Cas9 to catalyze targeted genomic mutations in rat spermatogonial stem cell cultures. CRISPR/Cas9-modified spermatogonia regenerated spermatogenesis and displayed long-term sperm-forming potential following transplantation into rat testes. Targeted germline mutations in Epsti1 and Erbb3 were vertically transmitted from recipients toexclusively generate "pure," non-mosaic mutant progeny. Epsti1 mutant rats were produced with or without genetic selection of donor spermatogonia. Monoclonal enrichment of Erbb3 null germlines unmasked recessive spermatogenesis defects in culture that were buffered in recipients, yielding mutant progeny isogenic at targeted alleles. Thus, spermatogonial gene editing with CRISPR/Cas9 provided a platform for generating targeted germline mutations in rats and for studying spermatogenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)