Image of the Day: Xenopus Pigment

Researchers recently used CRISPR single-guide RNAs to alter genes involved in pigmentation in frog embryos.

By The Scientist Staff | May 18, 2018

Embryo at the neurula stage, with tracer localization (green) and pigment loss on the right side of the developing embryo. (Bottom) A more developed embryo, also displaying tracer localization and pigment loss on its right side. VANHA KRNETA-STANKIC

A single frog can come with only half its colors. At a workshop on the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) and CRISPR applications at the MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, researchers used single-guide RNAs (sgRNAs) to alter pigment genes in the embryos of the amphibian. The scientists injected slc45a2-sgRNA, Cas9 protein and Alexa 488:dextran tracer into one cell of a two-cell embryo. The treatment resulted in half of the embryo lacking pigment. The researchers describe the procedure they used in a study published in February in Genetics

B. Delay et al., “Tissue-specific gene inactivation in Xenopus laevis: knockout of Ihx1 in the kidney with CRISPR/Cas9,” Genetics, doi:10.1534/genetics.117.300468, 2018.

Correction (May 18): An earlier version of this article erroneously referred to MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciencesas the University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. The Scientist regrets this error.

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