Genome-wide mapping of mutations at single-nucleotide resolution for protein, metabolic and genome engineering

Nat Biotechnol. 2017 Jan;35(1):48-55. doi: 10.1038/nbt.3718. Epub 2016 Dec 12.


Improvements in DNA synthesis and sequencing have underpinned comprehensive assessment of gene function in bacteria and eukaryotes. Genome-wide analyses require high-throughput methods to generate mutations and analyze their phenotypes, but approaches to date have been unable to efficiently link the effects of mutations in coding regions or promoter elements in a highly parallel fashion. We report that CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing in combination with massively parallel oligomer synthesis can enable trackable editing on a genome-wide scale. Our method, CRISPR-enabled trackable genome engineering (CREATE), links each guide RNA to homologous repair cassettes that both edit loci and function as barcodes to track genotype-phenotype relationships. We apply CREATE to site saturation mutagenesis for protein engineering, reconstruction of adaptive laboratory evolution experiments, and identification of stress tolerance and antibiotic resistance genes in bacteria. We provide preliminary evidence that CREATE will work in yeast. We also provide a webtool to design multiplex CREATE libraries.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Chromosome Mapping / methods*
  • DNA Mutational Analysis / methods*
  • Gene Editing / methods*
  • Genome, Bacterial / genetics
  • Genome, Fungal / genetics
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Metabolic Engineering / methods*
  • Metabolome / genetics
  • Nucleotides / genetics
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics*
  • Protein Engineering / methods*
  • Proteome / genetics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Software


  • Nucleotides
  • Proteome