Engineering the Caenorhabditis elegans genome with CRISPR/Cas9

Selma Waaijers, Mike Boxem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The development in early 2013 of CRISPR/Cas9-based genome engineering promises to dramatically advance our ability to alter the genomes of model systems at will. A single, easily produced targeting RNA guides the Cas9 endonuclease to a specific DNA sequence where it creates a double strand break. Imprecise repair of the break can yield mutations, while homologous recombination with a repair template can be used to effect specific changes to the genome. The tremendous potential of this system led several groups to independently adapt it for use in Caenorhabditiselegans, where it was successfully used to generate mutations and to create tailored genome changes through homologous recombination. Here, we review the different approaches taken to adapt CRISPR/Cas9 for C. elegans, and provide practical guidelines for CRISPR/Cas9-based genome engineering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-388
Number of pages8
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2014


  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Cas9
  • Double strand break
  • Genome engineering
  • Homologous recombination


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