Rapid and efficient genetic engineering of both wild type and axenic strains of Dictyostelium discoideum

Peggy Paschke (Lead / Corresponding author), David A. Knecht, Augustinas Silale, David Traynor, Thomas D. Williams, Peter A. Thomason, Robert H. Insall, Jonathan R. Chubb, Robert R. Kay, Douwe M. Veltman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Dictyostelium has a mature technology for molecular-genetic manipulation based around transfection using several different selectable markers, marker re-cycling, homologous recombination and insertional mutagenesis, all supported by a well-annotated genome. However this technology is optimized for mutant, axenic cells that, unlike non-axenic wild type, can grow in liquid medium. There is a pressing need for methods to manipulate wild type cells and ones with defects in macropinocytosis, neither of which can grow in liquid media. Here we present a panel of molecular genetic techniques based on the selection of Dictyostelium transfectants by growth on bacteria rather than liquid media. As well as extending the range of strains that can be manipulated, these techniques are faster than conventional methods, often giving usable numbers of transfected cells within a few days. The methods and plasmids described here allow efficient transfection with extrachromosomal vectors, as well as chromosomal integration at a ‘safe haven’ for relatively uniform cell-to-cell expression, efficient gene knock-in and knock-out and an inducible expression system. We have thus created a complete new system for the genetic manipulation of Dictyostelium cells that no longer requires cell feeding on liquid media.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0196809
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume13
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2018

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