Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

A Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience for High-Throughput Reverse Genetic Studies in Arabidopsis Thaliana with CRISPR-Cas9

Version 1 : Received: 25 August 2020 / Approved: 27 August 2020 / Online: 27 August 2020 (12:29:53 CEST)

How to cite: Mills, A.; Jagannatha, V.; Cortez, A.; Guzman, M.; Burnette, J.; Collin, M.; Lopez-Lopez, B.; Wessler, S.; Van Norman, J.; Nelson, D.; Rasmussen, C. A Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience for High-Throughput Reverse Genetic Studies in Arabidopsis Thaliana with CRISPR-Cas9. Preprints 2020, 2020080619 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202008.0619.v1). Mills, A.; Jagannatha, V.; Cortez, A.; Guzman, M.; Burnette, J.; Collin, M.; Lopez-Lopez, B.; Wessler, S.; Van Norman, J.; Nelson, D.; Rasmussen, C. A Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience for High-Throughput Reverse Genetic Studies in Arabidopsis Thaliana with CRISPR-Cas9. Preprints 2020, 2020080619 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202008.0619.v1).

Abstract

Gene editing tools such as CRISPR-Cas9 have created unprecedented opportunities for genetic studies in plants and animals. We designed a course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE) to train introductory biology students in the concepts and implementation of gene editing technology as well as develop their soft skills in data management and scientific communication. We present two versions of the course that can be implemented with twice-weekly meetings over a five-week period. In the remote-learning version, students perform homology searches, design guide RNAs and primers, and learn the principles of molecular cloning. This version is appropriate when access to laboratory equipment or in-person instruction is limited, such as closures that have occurred in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. In the in-person version, students design guide RNAs, clone CRISPR-Cas9 constructs, and perform genetic transformation of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. The highly parallel nature of the CURE makes it possible to target dozens to hundreds of genes, depending on the number of course sections available. Applying this approach in a sensitized mutant background enables focused reverse genetic screens for genetic suppressors or enhancers. The course can be readily adapted to other organisms or projects that employ gene editing.

Subject Areas

CRISPR-Cas9; course-based undergraduate research experience; CURE; remote learning; plant biology

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