Tissue-specific genome editing in Ciona embryos by CRISPR/Cas9. Academic Article uri icon


  • The CRISPR/Cas9 system has ushered in a new era of targeted genetic manipulations. Here, we report the use of CRISPR/Cas9 to induce double-stranded breaks in the genome of the sea squirt Ciona intestinalis. We use electroporation to deliver CRISPR/Cas9 components for tissue-specific disruption of the Ebf (Collier/Olf/EBF) gene in hundreds of synchronized Ciona embryos. Phenotyping of transfected embryos in the 'F0' generation revealed that endogenous Ebf function is required for specification of Islet-expressing motor ganglion neurons and atrial siphon muscles. We demonstrate that CRISPR/Cas9 is sufficiently effective and specific to generate large numbers of embryos carrying mutations in a targeted gene of interest, which should allow for rapid screening of gene function in Ciona.

publication date

  • November 2014