Sperm preservation is a useful technique for maintaining valuable animal strains. Rat sperm could be frozen or freeze-dried in a simple Tris-EDTA solution (TE buffer), and oocytes that were fertilized with these sperm by intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) developed into offspring. Genome editing with the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) and CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) system enables the rapid production of genetically modified rats. The recent innovative method, named the TAKE method, could easily produce genome edited rats by electroporation of endonucleases into embryos. Although various rat strains have been applied for genome editing, genome editing using strains that were preserved as sperm took longer because it required collecting embryos after maturation of animals regenerated from sperm. To reduce the production period, we directly electroporated Cas9 protein and gRNA into oocytes that were injected with frozen or freeze-dried sperm in TE buffer. No effect of electroporation until 30 V to ICSI-embryos derived from frozen or freeze-dried sperm were shown in the development of offspring. Furthermore, the rate of genome editing in offspring was high (56% for frozen and 50% for freeze-dried sperm). These results concluded that the combination of ICSI and the TAKE method was useful for the rapid production of genome-edited animals from sperm that have been preserved as genetic resources.
Keywords: CRISPR/Cas9; Electroporation; Embryo; Freeze-dry; Freezing; Genome editing; ICSI; Preservation; Rat; Sperm.
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