TREC-IN: gene knock-in genetic tool for genomes cloned in yeast
Chandran S, Noskov VN, Segall-Shapiro TH, Ma L, Whiteis C, Lartigue C, Jores J, Vashee S, Chuang RY
With the development of several new technologies using synthetic biology, it is possible to engineer genetically intractable organisms including Mycoplasma mycoides subspecies capri (Mmc), by cloning the intact bacterial genome in yeast, using the host yeast's genetic tools to modify the cloned genome, and subsequently transplanting the modified genome into a recipient cell to obtain mutant cells encoded by the modified genome. The recently described tandem repeat coupled with endonuclease cleavage (TREC) method has been successfully used to generate seamless deletions and point mutations in the mycoplasma genome using the yeast DNA repair machinery. But, attempts to knock-in genes in some cases have encountered a high background of transformation due to maintenance of unwanted circularization of the transforming DNA, which contains possible autonomously replicating sequence (ARS) activity. To overcome this issue, we incorporated a split marker system into the TREC method, enabling seamless gene knock-in with high efficiency. The modified method is called TREC-assisted gene knock-in (TREC-IN). Since a gene to be knocked-in is delivered by a truncated non-functional marker, the background caused by an incomplete integration is essentially eliminated.