Rapid, efficient and precise allele replacement in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe

Curr Genet. 2014 May;60(2):109-19. doi: 10.1007/s00294-013-0406-x. Epub 2013 Sep 12.


Gene targeting provides a powerful tool to modify endogenous loci to contain specific mutations, insertions and deletions. Precise allele replacement, with no other chromosomal changes (e.g., insertion of selectable markers or heterologous promoters), maintains physiologically relevant context. Established methods for precise allele replacement in fission yeast employ two successive rounds of transformation and homologous recombination and require genotyping at each step. The relative efficiency of homologous recombination is low and a high rate of false positives during the second round of gene targeting further complicates matters. We report that pop-in, pop-out allele replacement circumvents these problems. We present data for 39 different allele replacements, involving simple and complex modifications at seven different target loci, that illustrate the power and utility of the approach. We also developed and validated a rapid, efficient process for precise allele replacement that requires only one round each of transformation and genotyping. We show that this process can be applied in population scale to an individual target locus, without genotyping, to identify clones with an altered phenotype (targeted forward genetics). It is therefore suitable for saturating, in situ, locus-specific mutation screens (e.g., of essential or non-essential genes and regulatory DNA elements) within normal chromosomal context.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles*
  • DNA / genetics
  • Gene Targeting / methods*
  • Genotype
  • Mutation
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Schizosaccharomyces / genetics*


  • DNA