Comparison of Cas12a and Cas9-mediated mutagenesis in tomato cells

Ellen Slaman, Lisanne Kottenhagen, William de Martines, Gerco C. Angenent, Ruud A. de Maagd*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Cas12a is a promising addition to the CRISPR toolbox, offering versatility due to its TTTV-protospacer adjacent motif (PAM) and the fact that it induces double-stranded breaks (DSBs) with single-stranded overhangs. We characterized Cas12a-mediated genome editing in tomato using high-throughput amplicon sequencing on protoplasts. Of the three tested variants, Lachnospiraceae (Lb) Cas12a was the most efficient. Additionally, we developed an easy and effective Golden-Gate-based system for crRNA cloning. We compared LbCas12a to SpCas9 by investigating on-target efficacy and specificity at 35 overlapping target sites and 57 (LbCas12a) or 100 (SpCas9) predicted off-target sites. We found LbCas12a an efficient, robust addition to SpCas9, with similar overall though target-dependent efficiencies. LbCas12a induced more and larger deletions than SpCas9, which can be advantageous for specific genome editing applications. Off-target activity for LbCas12a was found at 10 out of 57 investigated sites. One or two mismatches were present distal from the PAM in all cases. We conclude that Cas12a-mediated genome editing is generally precise as long as such off-target sites can be avoided. In conclusion, we have determined the mutation pattern and efficacy of Cas12a-mediated CRISPR mutagenesis in tomato and developed a cloning system for the routine application of Cas12a for tomato genome editing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4508
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2024


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