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TitleOptogenetic mutagenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans
AuthorKentaro Noma & Yishi Jin
Affiliation(s)Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093, USA
PublishedNature Communications volume 6, Article number: 8868 (2015)
KeywordUHP-LED, Optogenetics, UHP-Mic-LED-460, UHP-LED-460
SnippetWe used a blue Ultra High Power LED (UHP-LED-460) light source (460±5 nm, Prizmatix,
Abstract Reactive oxygen species (ROS) can modify and damage DNA. Here we report an optogenetic mutagenesis approach that is free of toxic chemicals and easy to perform by taking advantage of a genetically encoded ROS generator. This method relies on the potency of ROS generation by His-mSOG, the mini singlet oxygen generator, miniSOG, fused to a histone. Caenorhabditis elegans expressing His-mSOG in the germline behave and reproduce normally, without photoinduction. Following exposure to blue light, the His-mSOG animals produce progeny with a wide range of heritable phenotypes. We show that optogenetic mutagenesis by His-mSOG induces a broad spectrum of mutations including single-nucleotide variants (SNVs), chromosomal deletions, as well as integration of extrachromosomal transgenes, which complements those derived from traditional chemical or radiation mutagenesis. The optogenetic mutagenesis expands the toolbox for forward genetic screening and also provides direct evidence that nuclear ROS can induce heritable and specific genetic mutations.

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