Mos1-Mediated Transgenesis to Probe Consequences of Single Gene Mutations in Variation-Rich Isolates of Caenorhabditis elegans

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Tarailo-Graovac M, Chen N (2012) Mos1-Mediated Transgenesis to Probe Consequences of Single Gene Mutations in Variation-Rich Isolates of Caenorhabditis elegans. PLoS ONE 7(11): e48762. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0048762

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Caenorhabditis elegans
Genomic variation
Gene mutation
Mos1-mediated single-copy insertion method

Caenorhabditis elegans, especially the N2 isolate, is an invaluable biological model system. Numerous additional natural C. elegans isolates have been shown to have unexpected genotypic and phenotypic variations which has encouraged researchers to use next generation sequencing methodology to develop a more complete picture of genotypic variations among the isolates. To understand the phenotypic effects of a genomic variation (GV) on a single gene, in a variation-rich genetic background, one should analyze that particular GV in a well understood genetic background. In C. elegans, the analysis is usually done in N2, which requires extensive crossing to bring in the GV. This can be a very time consuming procedure thus it is important to establish a fast and efficient approach to test the effect of GVs from different isolates in N2. Here we use a Mos1-mediated single-copy insertion (MosSCI) method for phenotypic assessments of GVs from the variation-rich Hawaiian strain CB4856 in N2. Specifically, we investigate effects of variations identified in the CB4856 strain on tac-1 which is an essential gene that is necessary for mitotic spindle elongation and pronuclear migration. We show the usefulness of the MosSCI method by using EU1004 tac-1(or402) as a control. or402 is a temperature sensitive lethal allele within a well-conserved TACC domain (transforming acidic coiled-coil) that results in a leucine to phenylalanine change at amino acid 229. CB4856 contains a variation that affects the second exon of tac-1 causing a cysteine to tryptophan change at amino acid 94 also within the TACC domain. Using the MosSCI method, we analyze tac-1 from CB4856 in the N2 background and demonstrate that the C94W change, albeit significant, does not cause any obvious decrease in viability. This MosSCI method has proven to be a rapid and efficient way to analyze GVs.

Document type: 
Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR)
Fanconi Anemia Fellowship to Maja Tarailo-Graovac
Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada