Live cell CRISPR-imaging in plants reveals dynamic telomere movements

Steven Dreissig, Simon Schiml, Patrick Schindele, Oda Weiss, Twan Rutten, Veit Schubert, Evgeny Gladilin, Michael F. Mette, Holger Puchta, Andreas Houben

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


Elucidating the spatio-temporal organization of the genome inside the nucleus is imperative to understand the regulation of genes and non-coding sequences during development and environmental changes. Emerging techniques of chromatin imaging promise to bridge the long-standing gap between sequencing studies which reveal genomic information and imaging studies that provide spatial and temporal information of defined genomic regions. Here, we demonstrate such an imaging technique based on two orthologues of the bacterial CRISPR-Cas9 system. By fusing eGFP/mRuby2 to the catalytically inactive version of Streptococcus pyogenes and Staphylococcus aureus Cas9, we show robust visualization of telomere repeats in live leaf cells of Nicotiana benthamiana. By tracking the dynamics of telomeres visualized by CRISPR-dCas9, we reveal dynamic telomere movements of up to 2 μm within 30 minutes during interphase. Furthermore, we show that CRISPR-dCas9 can be combined with fluorescence-labelled proteins to visualize DNA-protein interactions in vivo. By simultaneously using two dCas9 orthologues, we pave the way for imaging of multiple genomic loci in live plants cells. CRISPR-imaging bears the potential to significantly improve our understanding of the dynamics of chromosomes in live plant cells.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)565-573
Number of pages9
JournalThe Plant Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 14 2017


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