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Multiplexed precision genome editing with trackable genomic barcodes in yeast


Our understanding of how genotype controls phenotype is limited by the scale at which we can precisely alter the genome and assess the phenotypic consequences of each perturbation. Here we describe a CRISPR–Cas9-based method for multiplexed accurate genome editing with short, trackable, integrated cellular barcodes (MAGESTIC) in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. MAGESTIC uses array-synthesized guide–donor oligos for plasmid-based high-throughput editing and features genomic barcode integration to prevent plasmid barcode loss and to enable robust phenotyping. We demonstrate that editing efficiency can be increased more than fivefold by recruiting donor DNA to the site of breaks using the LexA–Fkh1p fusion protein. We performed saturation editing of the essential gene SEC14 and identified amino acids critical for chemical inhibition of lipid signaling. We also constructed thousands of natural genetic variants, characterized guide mismatch tolerance at the genome scale, and ascertained that cryptic Pol III termination elements substantially reduce guide efficacy. MAGESTIC will be broadly useful to uncover the genetic basis of phenotypes in yeast.

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Figure 1: The MAGESTIC pipeline for multiplexed precision genome editing.
Figure 2: Simultaneous genome editing, guide–donor barcode integration, and plasmid self-destruction.
Figure 3: Active recruitment of donor DNA to Cas9-induced dsDNA breaks increases homologous recombination efficiency.
Figure 4: Saturation mutagenesis of an essential eukaryotic gene and structure-function mapping of drug resistance.
Figure 5: Global profiles of guide efficacy and mismatch tolerance for engineering of natural variants.

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This work was supported by grants from the US National Institutes of Health (P01HG000205 to L.M.S. and R.W.D., R01GM121932-01A1 to R.P.S., U01GM110706-02 to R.W.D., RO1GM61766 to J.E.H., and RO1GM44530 to V.A.B.), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (70NANB15H268 to M.L.S.), and the European Research Council Advanced Investigator Grant (AdG-294542 to L.M.S.). K.R.R. was supported by a National Research Council postdoctoral fellowship. A.T. and V.A.B. were supported by the Robert A. Welch Foundation (award BE-0017). S.C.V. was supported by a Swiss National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellowship (P2EZP3_165220). Certain commercial equipment, instruments, or materials are identified in this document. Such identification does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, nor does it imply that the products identified are necessarily the best available for the purpose. We thank the EMBL Genomics Core Facility for support and optimization of barcode sequencing protocols. This work is dedicated to the memory of Joe Horecka (12/1/1963-10/20/2017).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



K.R.R., J.D.S., S.C.V., R.P.S., and L.M.S. conceived and designed the study, and wrote and edited the paper. K.R.R., J.D.S., S.C.V., and R.P.S. performed experiments and analyzed data. K.R.R., S.C.V., G.L., and A.R.L. analyzed NGS data; C.S.T., A.C., S.S., M.N., J.H., W.T.B., M.A.M., J.S., and K.M.O. performed experiments. A.T. and V.A.B. performed computational structural analysis on Sec14p-NPPM; W.W. performed variant calling for the different yeast strains. J.E.H. suggested adapting the LexA–Fkh1p system to the guide–donor plasmid. R.S.A., R.W.D., and M.L.S. advised the study. R.P.S. and L.M.S. were responsible for the coordination of the study. All authors read, corrected, and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Robert P St.Onge or Lars M Steinmetz.

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Competing interests

K.R.R., J.D.S., J.E.H., R.P.S. and L.M.S. have filed a provisional application (US 62/559,493) with the US Patent and Trademark Office on this work.

Integrated supplementary information

Supplementary Figure 1 Barcode and feature representation throughout library construction

(a) Venn diagram representation of barcode (left) and feature (right) overlap among the oligo pool, step 1, and step 2 libraries. Note that barcodes are added during PCR amplification of the initial oligo library and therefore cannot be analyzed until cloning of step 1 libraries. Although most barcodes observed in step 1 libraries are not recovered in step 2 or yeast libraries, 88,821 out of 100,000 designed features are observed in the yeast pre-editing library (see Methods). (b) Representation of barcodes (left) and features (right) at the indicated stages of library construction as a function of subsampling reads from 0 to 20 million (left) or 10 million (right) reads. The barcodes/features are plotted as a percentage relative to all barcodes/features identified in their respective initial reference pools (step 1 cloning for barcodes and oligo pool for features). (c) Representation of barcodes (left) and features (right) at the indicated stages of library construction as a function of what percentage of the reads (Y) in each sample are attributed to what percentage (X) of the top barcodes/features in each sample, where the barcodes/features are sorted from highest to lowest abundance from left to right on the x-axis. The dotted line (slope = 1) depicts an idealized library of perfect uniformity where all members are present at equal abundance.

Supplementary Figure 2 Guide X promoter comparison and integration kinetics

Three different promoters were tested to drive the expression of guide X: RPR1, SNR52, and the tRNA (Tyr)-HDV ribozyme promoter. As in Fig. 2b, integration of the guide-donor barcode at each generation was assayed by amplification with primers flanking the chromosomal barcode locus. The larger amplicon size indicates successful integration of the guide-donor barcode. The integration kinetics were tested for the single ADE2 guide-donor plasmid. The self-destruction of the guide-donor plasmids was assessed by a three-primer PCR, with a common forward primer and either a guide-donor plasmid-specific primer (top band) or a Cas9-plasmid specific primer (bottom band). The experiment was conducted with biological replicates from independent guide-donor transformations with similar kinetics of barcode integration.

Supplementary Figure 3 Detailed synonymous codon spreading strategy to enable mutation of codons outside of guide RNA recognition regions

Amino acid saturation editing strategy for open reading frames with (a) target codons that fall within the 20 bp of NGG-PAM guide recognition sequences and (b) target codons that fall outside of the nearest NGG-PAM guide recognition sequence. The examples show the design of the donor DNA to accompany guide RNA utilizing the nearest downstream PAM. The nonsynonymous changes (red) are accompanied by synonymous changes (cyan) that spread towards the Cas9 cleavage site (3 bp upstream of the PAM). The synonymous changes block cleavage of the donor by the Cas9::guide complex and minimize microhomology between the nonsynonymous variant of interest and the guide-disrupting changes. A pseudo-WT control is included to rule out effects due to the synonymous changes.

Supplementary Figure 4 Fitness effects of all possible amino acid mutations across a region of Sec14p

(a) The relative abundance of the indicated nonsynonymous changes from amino acid positions 102 to 137 in Sec14p after editing in the haploid suppressor and mating to the complementary suppressor (see Fig. 4b; * = stop codon). (b) Log10 values of the normalized read counts for each of 1361 variants observed in the haploid suppressor background (in which SEC14 is non-essential; x=axis) vs. the diploid (in which SEC14 is essential by virtue of suppressor complementation; y-axis). Variants encoding premature termination codons (PTCs) are represented by green points. The Pearson’s correlation coefficient was obtained using the Python scipy.stats.pearsonr (version 1.0.0) function with default parameters and a 2-tailed p-value.

Supplementary Figure 5 Drug fitness replicate correlations with upstream and downstream synonymous codon changes for each SEC14 variant

(a) Log10 values of the normalized read counts are plotted for two replicate samples after 12 generations of growth in the presence of NPPM (n = 969 variants with read counts > 0 in at least one replicate). (b) The log2-fold change for each variant in the presence of NPPMs relative to the DMSO-control is plotted for the upstream synonymous changes version of each variant (y-axis) vs. the downstream synonymous changes version (x-axis). The Pearson correlation coefficient is indicated by pearsonr as in Supplementary Fig. 4b (n = 797 variants, filtered for amino acid variants with at least 10 reads for both upstream and downstream synonymous versions).

Supplementary Figure 6 Azimuth score and PAM identity are correlated with guide efficacy

(a) The Azimuth score for each guide in our dataset (x-axis) is plotted against log2-fold change after editing (y-axis) (Spearman rho -0.18, Pearson R = -0.19, both p < 2.2E-16). The trend line derives from a linear regression of logFC to Azimuth score (R2 = 0.037, p<2.2E-16). The color intensity depicts the count of barcodes per box (N = 23,866 barcodes). (b) Violin plots of the effect of PAM on log2-fold change after editing (black dots depict medians and black lines indicate the 25th and 75th percentiles). The number of barcodes (N) for each PAM type is indicated in the above plots. A one-sided Wilcoxon test was used for between-group comparisons; for each group, location shift and 99% confidence intervals (in square brackets) are as follows: TGG_AGG: 0.12 [0.05, Inf], p = 6.478E-05; TGG_CGG: 0.19 [0.1, Inf], p = 7.72E-07; TGG_GGG: 0.31 [0.22, Inf], p = 6.744E-16. Dead guides are shown for comparison.

Supplementary Figure 7 Effect of homopolymers and T-homopolymer location on guide RNA efficacy

(a) Log2-fold changes for guide-donor barcodes post-editing relative to pre-editing is plotted as a function of the homopolymer content. For each guide, the longest homopolymer for each of the four nucleotides was identified, and guide-donor barcodes were grouped into the bins of the designated length. Dead guides are shown for comparison. Box plot boundaries depict the upper and lower quartile, with the line denoting the median value. The number of barcodes (N) for each group is specified above the boxes. (b) The log2-fold change for TTT and TTTT-containing guides post-editing relative to pre-editing is plotted as a function of whether the T-stretch is at the 3’ end of the guide (*** p = 1.97E-05, * p = 0.01213). Note that the Cas9 guide RNA scaffold used in this study begins with GTTTA. A one-sided Wilcoxon test was used for between-group comparisons; for each group, location shift and 99% confidence intervals (in square brackets) are as follows: T3: 0.36 [0.16, Inf], T4: 0.26 [-0.01, Inf]. Dead guides and guides containing T-homopolymers less than 3 nucleotides long are plotted for comparison. The number of barcodes in each group is specified above the boxes.

Supplementary Figure 8 Relationship between Azimuth score, T-score, and guide efficacy

(a) The Azimuth score for each guide in our dataset is plotted against log2-fold change in barcode abundance after editing. Each barcode is colored according to the T-score of its associated guide. Grey dots denote efficient guides (T-score < 5, N = 20,474), salmon dots indicate guides with T5 or imperfect T-stretches (T-score 5 – 6.5, N = 2787) showing slight enrichment during editing and red dots denote very inefficient guides (T-score >=7, N = 332) showing more pronounced enrichment during editing. (b) The Azimuth score for each guide in the Azimuth training set is plotted against the experimentally-determined guide efficacy. Each guide is colored according to T-score, with guides with T-score < 5 in grey (N = 5243) and guides with T-score 5 - 6.5 in salmon (N = 67). 6.5 was the highest T-score we observed in this dataset.

Supplementary Figure 9 Uncropped gel images from Figure 2 and Supplementary Figure 2

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Supplementary Text and Figures

Supplementary Figures 1–9 (PDF 1354 kb)

Life Sciences Reporting Summary (PDF 174 kb)

Supplementary Tables

Supplementary tables 1, 3–4 (PDF 272 kb)

Supplementary Table 2

Growth analysis of individual Sec14p variants (XLSX 93 kb)

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Roy, K., Smith, J., Vonesch, S. et al. Multiplexed precision genome editing with trackable genomic barcodes in yeast. Nat Biotechnol 36, 512–520 (2018).

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