CRISPR-dCas9 Mediated Cytosine Deaminase Base Editing in Bacillus subtilis.ACS Synth Biol. 2020 Jul 17; 9(7):1781-1789.AS
Base editing technology based on clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/associated protein 9 (CRISPR/Cas9) is a recent addition to the family of CRISPR technologies. Compared with the traditional CRISPR/Cas9 technology, it does not rely on DNA double strand break and homologous recombination, and can realize gene inactivation and point mutation more quickly and simply. Herein, we first developed a base editing method for genome editing in Bacillus subtilis utilizing CRISPR/dCas9 (a fully nuclease-deficient mutant of Cas9 from S. pyogenes) and activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID). This method achieved three and four loci simultaneous editing with editing efficiency up to 100% and 50%, respectively. Our base editing system in B. subtilis has a 5 nt editing window, which is similar to previously reported base editing in other microorganisms. We demonstrated that the plasmid curing rate is almost 100%, which is advantageous for multiple rounds of genome engineering in B. subtilis. Finally, we applied multiplex genome editing to generate a B. subtilis 168 mutant strain with eight inactive extracellular protease genes in just two rounds of base editing and plasmid curing, suggesting that it is a powerful tool for gene manipulation in B. subtilis and industrial applications in the future.