Mutation Generation & Detection

To Set Up a User Account:

Account SetupThe Mutation Generation and Detection Core (MGD) Facility specializes in providing custom TALEN and Crispr-Cas9 DNA nucleases to induce targeted mutations in a genomic region of your interest. TALEN and Crispr-Cas9 DNA nucleases are a cutting edge technology for performing reverse genetic studies in multiple model systems, including, but not limited to Zebrafish, Drosophila, C. elegans, Mouse, and mammalian tissue culture.


The MGD Core also offers services to identify induced mutations using High Resolution Melt Analysis (HRMA). Our support includes hardware, reagents, and expert advice for optimizing and performing HRMA for your gene of interest.  The MGD Core also offers Services for preforming custom HRMA analysis for mutation detection and genotyping.  Please contact the Director of the MGD Core for details on this service.

Mutation Generation and Detection Core Services and Rates

           (Bulk pricing does not apply to internal or external CIHD members)


CRISPR-Cas9 Services


CRISPR-Cas9 is a customizable system for assembling DNA nuclease that are RNA:Protein hybrids.  CRISPR-Cas9 is analogous to the TALEN DNA nuclease system and can be used to induce mutations at targeted regions in a model organism’s genome.  Targeting of a gene’s coding region using CRISPR-Cas9 leads to null mutations and loss of that genes function and allows investigation of that genes role in the normal biology of a model organism.  In addition to this basic “knockout” function CRISPR-Cas9 can be used to make small and large deletions of genomic regions and to increase the efficiency of incorporation of exogenous donor DNA (homology driven recombination).  Together these different uses of CRISPR-Cas9 can be utilized to knockout a gene, tag a gene, delete genomic regions of non-coding RNA, or delete regulatory regions of genes such as promoters and enhancers.

Our Core offers a full line of CRISPR-Cas9 services  and reagents to researchers, as well as help designing and implementing projects.  All projects start with the Core designing optimal CRISPR-Cas9 target sites for your model organism and delivery of sequence confirmed plasmids.  See the list below for a range of CRISPR-Cas9 services and pricing.  Also provided are links to order forms if you are interested in services.  For any questions and to submit order forms please contact the MGD Core at

Utah Client CRISPR Request Form

Outside Utah Client CRISPR Request Form

CRISPR Order Directions

Pricing for our CRISPR Services
Custom CRISPR Services U of U Researchers External U of U Non-Profit Researchers CIHD Members External CIHD Members
1x CRISPR design & construction
(includes custom sgRNA and Cas9 plasmids)
$250 $375 $73.83 $110.75
2x CRISPR design & construction
(includes 2x custom sgRNA and Cas9 plasmids)
$480 $720 $147.66 $211.50


*Bulk Services are not available to CIHD members


Bulk Custom CRISPR Services U of U Researchers External U of U Non-Profit Researchers
3-4 CRISPR design & construction $231 $346
5-6 CRISPR design & construction $212 $318
7-8 CRISPR design & construction $194 $290
9-10 CRISPR design & construction $175 $262
11+ CRISPR design & construction $160 $240
TALEN Services

TALENs are customized DNA nuclease proteins used to induce mutations at targeted regions in a model organism’s genome. Targeting of a gene’s coding region using TALEN proteins leads to null mutations and loss of that genes function and allows investigation of that genes role in the normal biology of a model organism. In addition to this basic “knockout” function TALENs can be used to make small and large deletions of genomic regions and to increase the efficiency of incorporation of exogenous donor DNA (homology driven recombination). Together these different uses of TALENs can be utilized to knockout a gene, tag a gene, delete genomic regions of non-coding RNA, or delete regulatory regions of genes such as promoters and enhancers.

Our Core offers a full line of TALEN services to researchers, as well as help designing and implementing projects. All projects start with the Core designing optimal TALEN target sites for your model organism and delivery of sequence confirmed plasmids expressing TALENs. See the links below for the range of TALEN services provided, directions for ordering, order forms, and pricing. For any questions please contact the Core at

Pricing for Our TALEN Services
Custom TALEN Protein Services U of U researchers Outside U of U Non-Profit Researchers CIHD Members External CIHD Members
TALEN plasmid pair design & construction $750 $1,125 $218.23 $327.35
2x TALEN plasmid pair design & construction $1,400 $2,100 $436.46 $654.70


*Bulk Services are not available to CIHD members


Bulk TALEN Ordering Rates U of U Researchers Outside U of U Non-Profit Researchers
5 or more TALEN pair design & construction $675 $1,000
10 or more TALEN pair design & construction $650 $950
15 or more TALEN pair design & construction $625 $900
High Resolution Melt Analysis (HMRA)

High Resolution Melt Analysis is powerful assay for the detection of sequence alterations that is a closed-tube, high-throughput, and highly sensitive system that can detect a wide range of sequence changes including: insertions, deletion, and SNPs.  HRMA can be utilized to identify TALEN and Crispr-Cas induced mutations, for routine genotyping of model organism, or for SNP screening.

The Core provides all necessary knowledge, reagents, and equipment for designing, optimizing, running, and analyzing HRMA.  The Core has a bank of Eppendorf MasterCycler Pro S PCR machine open for use and an Idaho Technology LightScanner High Resolution Melt Analysis Machine available for use.  The Core also provides all the specialized reagents and materials necessary for preforming HRMA at a reduced cost to researchers (see link below).  Contact the Core with any questions
HRMA consists of two simple steps:

1) PCR of a heterogenous genomic sample that results in the formation of Heteroduplexes and Homoduplexes (~70 minutes)


2) Melt Curve Analysis of those duplex species over a temperature gradient (~4-7 minutes) to identify samples with induced mutations by deflected melt curves


HRMA has a lower detection level of 1.5% making identification of rare and mosaic induced mutations routine

Pricing for our HMRA Services
HRMA Services and Reagents U of U Researchers & CIHD Members External CIHD Members
Idaho Technology LightScanner Annual Access Fee $100 $100
HRMA PCR plates (10 pack) $42.60 $66.00
HRMCA PCR optical sealing films (10 pack) $12.30 $19.50
Idaho Technology LightScanner MasterMix 100 rxns $77 $115.50
Idaho Tecnology LightScanner MasterMix 500 rxns $385 $577.50
Mineral Oil (500mL bottle) $37.03 $55.55

The MGD Core exists to help researchers like you to further their science. If we could ask for a slight favor in return for that help we would greatly appreciate your help. The University of Utah determines the impact of individual Core’s on scientific research by how many papers mention the Core specifically in the Acknowledgements section.

If you have used any of the services or resources that the MGD Core provides (TALENs, Crispr, HMRA, or other) please add the following sentences to the Acknowledgements section of your paper:

Thank you to the University of Utah Mutation Generation and Detection Core.

Center for Iron and Heme Disorders member publications:

  1. Kim HS, Neugebauer J, McKnite A, Tilak A, Christian JL. BMP7 functions predominantly as a heterodimer with BMP2 or BMP4 during mammalian embryogenesis. eLife. 2019;8. doi: 10.7554/eLife.48872. PubMed PMID: 31566563.
  2. Runtsch MC, Nelson MC, Lee S-H, Voth W, Alexander M, Hu R, Wallace J, Petersen C, Panic V, Villanueva CJ, Evason KJ, Bauer KM, Mosbruger T, Boudina S, Bronner M, Round JL, Drummond MJ, O’Connell RM. Anti-inflammatory microRNA-146a protects mice from diet-induced metabolic disease. PLoS genetics. 2019;15(2):e1007970. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1007970.
  3. Shen Z, Formosa T, Tantin D. FACT Inhibition Blocks Induction but Not Maintenance of Pluripotency. Stem cells and development. 2018;27(24):1693-701. doi: 10.1089/scd.2018.0150. PubMed PMID: 30319048; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6302925.
  4. Vazquez-Arreguin K, Maddox J, Kang J, Park D, Cano RR, Factor RE, Ludwig T, Tantin D. BRCA1 through Its E3 Ligase Activity Regulates the Transcription Factor Oct1 and Carbohydrate Metabolism. Molecular cancer research: MCR. 2018;16(3):439-52. doi: 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-17-0364. PubMed PMID: 29330289; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5835178.
  5. Wallace J, Hu R, Mosbruger TL, Dahlem TJ, Stephens WZ, Rao DS, Round JL, O’Connell RM. Genome-Wide CRISPR-Cas9 Screen Identifies MicroRNAs That Regulate Myeloid Leukemia Cell Growth. PloS one. 2016;11(4):e0153689. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0153689. PubMed PMID: 27081855; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4833428.


Complete Publication List:

  1. Balakrishnan B, Verheijen J, Lupo A, Raymond K, Turgeon C, Yang Y, Carter KL, Whitehead KJ, Kozicz T, Morava E, Lai K. A novel phosphoglucomutase-deficient mouse model reveals aberrant glycosylation and early embryonic lethality. Journal of inherited metabolic disease. 2019. doi: 10.1002/jimd.12110. PubMed PMID: 31077402.
  2. Downie JM, Gibson SB, Tsetsou S, Russell KL, Keefe MD, Figueroa KP, Bromberg MB, Murtaugh C, Bonkowsky JL, Pulst SM, Jorde LB. Loss of TP73 function contributes to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis pathogenesis. bioRxiv. 2019:451419. doi: 10.1101/451419.
  3. Fitzgerald M, Gibbs C, Deans TL. Rosa26 docking sites for investigating genetic circuit silencing in stem cells. bioRxiv. 2019:575266. doi: 10.1101/575266.
  4. Kim BJ, Kim DK, Han JH, Oh J, Kim AR, Lee C, Kim NK, Park HR, Kim MY, Lee S, Lee S, Oh DY, Park WY, Park S, Choi BY. Clarification of glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchorage of OTOANCORIN and human OTOA variants associated with deafness. Human mutation. 2019;40(5):525-31. doi: 10.1002/humu.23719. PubMed PMID: 30740825; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6467692.
  5. Lakshmipathi J, Wheatley W, Kumar A, Mercenne G, Rodan AR, Kohan DE. Identification of NFAT5 as a transcriptional regulator of the EDN1 gene in collecting duct. American journal of physiology Renal physiology. 2019;316(3):F481-F7. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00509.2018. PubMed PMID: 30623723; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6442376.
  6. Roth L, Wakim J, Wasserman E, Shalev M, Arman E, Stein M, Brumfeld V, Sagum CA, Bedford MT, Tuckermann J, Elson A. Phosphorylation of the phosphatase PTPROt at Tyr(399) is a molecular switch that controls osteoclast activity and bone mass in vivo. Science signaling. 2019;12(563). doi: 10.1126/scisignal.aau0240. PubMed PMID: 30622194.
  7. Samson SC, Elliott A, Mueller BD, Kim Y, Carney KR, Bergman JP, Blenis J, Mendoza MC. p90 ribosomal S6 kinase (RSK) phosphorylates myosin phosphatase and thereby controls edge dynamics during cell migration. The Journal of biological chemistry. 2019. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA119.007431. PubMed PMID: 31138649.
  8. Serrano MLA, Demarest BL, Tone-Pah-Hote T, Tristani-Firouzi M, Yost HJ. Inhibition of Notch signaling rescues cardiovascular development in Kabuki Syndrome. PLoS biology. 2019;17(9):e3000087. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3000087. PubMed PMID: 31479440; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6743796.
  9. Fadul J, Slattum GM, Redd NM, Jin MF, Redd MJ, Daetwyler S, Hedeen D, Huisken J, Rosenblatt J. Basal extrusion drives cell invasion and mechanical stripping of E-cadherin. bioRxiv. 2018:463646. doi: 10.1101/463646.
  10. Gao J, Stevenson TJ, Douglass AD, Barrios JP, Bonkowsky JL. The Midline Axon Crossing Decision Is Regulated through an Activity-Dependent Mechanism by the NMDA Receptor. eNeuro. 2018;5(2). doi: 10.1523/ENEURO.0389-17.2018. PubMed PMID: 29766040; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5952305.
  11. Gordon HB, Lusk S, Carney KR, Wirick EO, Murray BF, Kwan KM. Hedgehog signaling regulates cell motility and optic fissure and stalk formation during vertebrate eye morphogenesis. Development. 2018;145(22). doi: 10.1242/dev.165068. PubMed PMID: 30333214; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6262791.
  12. Lambert CJ, Freshner BC, Chung A, Stevenson TJ, Bowles DM, Samuel R, Gale BK, Bonkowsky JL. An automated system for rapid cellular extraction from live zebrafish embryos and larvae: Development and application to genotyping. PloS one. 2018;13(3):e0193180. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0193180. PubMed PMID: 29543903; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5854293.
  13. Leger H, Santana E, Leu NA, Smith ET, Beltran WA, Aguirre GD, Luca FC. Ndr kinases regulate retinal interneuron proliferation and homeostasis. Scientific reports. 2018;8(1):12544. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-30492-9. PubMed PMID: 30135513; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6105603.
  14. Liu KC, Leuckx G, Sakano D, Seymour PA, Mattsson CL, Rautio L, Staels W, Verdonck Y, Serup P, Kume S, Heimberg H, Andersson O. Inhibition of Cdk5 Promotes beta-Cell Differentiation From Ductal Progenitors. Diabetes. 2018;67(1):58-70. doi: 10.2337/db16-1587. PubMed PMID: 28986398; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6463766.
  15. Zelinka CP, Sotolongo-Lopez M, Fadool JM. Targeted disruption of the endogenous zebrafish rhodopsin locus as models of rapid rod photoreceptor degeneration. Molecular vision. 2018;24:587-602. PubMed PMID: 30210230; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6128699.
  16. Escobar-Aguirre M, Zhang H, Jamieson-Lucy A, Mullins MC. Microtubule-actin crosslinking factor 1 (Macf1) domain function in Balbiani body dissociation and nuclear positioning. PLoS genetics. 2017;13(9):e1006983. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1006983. PubMed PMID: 28880872; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5605089.
  17. Gorelik A, Sapir T, Haffner-Krausz R, Olender T, Woodruff TM, Reiner O. Developmental activities of the complement pathway in migrating neurons. Nature communications. 2017;8:15096. doi: 10.1038/ncomms15096. PubMed PMID: 28462915; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5418580.
  18. Gorelik A, Sapir T, Woodruff TM, Reiner O. Serping1/C1 Inhibitor Affects Cortical Development in a Cell Autonomous and Non-cell Autonomous Manner. Frontiers in cellular neuroscience. 2017;11:169. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2017.00169. PubMed PMID: 28670268; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5472692.
  19. Hoffman L, Jensen CC, Yoshigi M, Beckerle M. Mechanical signals activate p38 MAPK pathway-dependent reinforcement of actin via mechanosensitive HspB1. Molecular biology of the cell. 2017;28(20):2661-75. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E17-02-0087. PubMed PMID: 28768826; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5620374.
  20. Sedykh I, Yoon B, Roberson L, Moskvin O, Dewey CN, Grinblat Y. Zebrafish zic2 controls formation of periocular neural crest and choroid fissure morphogenesis. Developmental biology. 2017;429(1):92-104. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2017.07.003. PubMed PMID: 28689736; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5603172.
  21. Shankaran SS, Dahlem TJ, Bisgrove BW, Yost HJ, Tristani-Firouzi M. CRISPR/Cas9-Directed Gene Editing for the Generation of Loss-of-Function Mutants in High-Throughput Zebrafish F0 Screens. Current protocols in molecular biology. 2017;119:31 9 1- 9 22. doi: 10.1002/cpmb.42. PubMed PMID: 28678442.
  22. Shin CH, Robinson JP, Sonnen JA, Welker AE, Yu DX, VanBrocklin MW, Holmen SL. HBEGF promotes gliomagenesis in the context of Ink4a/Arf and Pten loss. Oncogene. 2017;36(32):4610-8. doi: 10.1038/onc.2017.83. PubMed PMID: 28368403; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5552427.
  23. Strachan LR, Stevenson TJ, Freshner B, Keefe MD, Miranda Bowles D, Bonkowsky JL. A zebrafish model of X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy recapitulates key disease features and demonstrates a developmental requirement for abcd1 in oligodendrocyte patterning and myelination. Human molecular genetics. 2017;26(18):3600-14. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddx249. PubMed PMID: 28911205; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5886093.
  24. Wallace JA, Kagele DA, Eiring AM, Kim CN, Hu R, Runtsch MC, Alexander M, Huffaker TB, Lee SH, Patel AB, Mosbruger TL, Voth WP, Rao DS, Miles RR, Round JL, Deininger MW, O’Connell RM. miR-155 promotes FLT3-ITD-induced myeloproliferative disease through inhibition of the interferon response. Blood. 2017;129(23):3074-86. doi: 10.1182/blood-2016-09-740209. PubMed PMID: 28432220; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5465836.
  25. Appel E, Weissmann S, Salzberg Y, Orlovsky K, Negreanu V, Tsoory M, Raanan C, Feldmesser E, Bernstein Y, Wolstein O, Levanon D, Groner Y. An ensemble of regulatory elements controls Runx3 spatiotemporal expression in subsets of dorsal root ganglia proprioceptive neurons. Genes & development. 2016;30(23):2607-22. doi: 10.1101/gad.291484.116. PubMed PMID: 28007784; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5204353.
  26. Hoshijima K, Jurynec MJ, Grunwald DJ. Precise Editing of the Zebrafish Genome Made Simple and Efficient. Developmental cell. 2016;36(6):654-67. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2016.02.015. PubMed PMID: 27003937; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4806538.
  27. Moore JC, Tang Q, Yordan NT, Moore FE, Garcia EG, Lobbardi R, Ramakrishnan A, Marvin DL, Anselmo A, Sadreyev RI, Langenau DM. Single-cell imaging of normal and malignant cell engraftment into optically clear prkdc-null SCID zebrafish. The Journal of experimental medicine. 2016;213(12):2575-89. doi: 10.1084/jem.20160378. PubMed PMID: 27810924; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5110017.
  28. Nissim S, Weeks O, Talbot JC, Hedgepeth JW, Wucherpfennig J, Schatzman-Bone S, Swinburne I, Cortes M, Alexa K, Megason S, North TE, Amacher SL, Goessling W. Iterative use of nuclear receptor Nr5a2 regulates multiple stages of liver and pancreas development. Developmental biology. 2016;418(1):108-23. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2016.07.019. PubMed PMID: 27474396; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5100814.
  29. Remedio L, Gribble KD, Lee JK, Kim N, Hallock PT, Delestree N, Mentis GZ, Froemke RC, Granato M, Burden SJ. Diverging roles for Lrp4 and Wnt signaling in neuromuscular synapse development during evolution. Genes & development. 2016;30(9):1058-69. doi: 10.1101/gad.279745.116. PubMed PMID: 27151977; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4863737.
  30. Basu S, Aryan A, Overcash JM, Samuel GH, Anderson MA, Dahlem TJ, Myles KM, Adelman ZN. Silencing of end-joining repair for efficient site-specific gene insertion after TALEN/CRISPR mutagenesis in Aedes aegypti. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2015;112(13):4038-43. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1502370112. PubMed PMID: 25775608; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4386333.
  31. Boer EF, Howell ED, Schilling TF, Jette CA, Stewart RA. Fascin1-dependent Filopodia are required for directional migration of a subset of neural crest cells. PLoS genetics. 2015;11(1):e1004946. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1004946. PubMed PMID: 25607881; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4301650.
  32. Isaacman-Beck J, Schneider V, Franzini-Armstrong C, Granato M. The lh3 Glycosyltransferase Directs Target-Selective Peripheral Nerve Regeneration. Neuron. 2015;88(4):691-703. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.10.004. PubMed PMID: 26549330; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4655140.
  33. Rahn JJ, Bestman JE, Stackley KD, Chan SS. Zebrafish lacking functional DNA polymerase gamma survive to juvenile stage, despite rapid and sustained mitochondrial DNA depletion, altered energetics and growth. Nucleic acids research. 2015;43(21):10338-52. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkv1139. PubMed PMID: 26519465; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4666367.
  34. Xing L, Son JH, Stevenson TJ, Lillesaar C, Bally-Cuif L, Dahl T, Bonkowsky JL. A Serotonin Circuit Acts as an Environmental Sensor to Mediate Midline Axon Crossing through EphrinB2. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2015;35(44):14794-808. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1295-15.2015. PubMed PMID: 26538650; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4635130.
  35. Beumer KJ, Carroll D. Targeted genome engineering techniques in Drosophila. Methods. 2014;68(1):29-37. doi: 10.1016/j.ymeth.2013.12.002. PubMed PMID: 24412316; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4048800.
  36. Cruz-Garcia L, Schlegel A. Lxr-driven enterocyte lipid droplet formation delays transport of ingested lipids. Journal of lipid research. 2014;55(9):1944-58. doi: 10.1194/jlr.M052845. PubMed PMID: 25030662; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4617358.
  37. Petersen J, Drake MJ, Bruce EA, Riblett AM, Didigu CA, Wilen CB, Malani N, Male F, Lee FH, Bushman FD, Cherry S, Doms RW, Bates P, Briley K, Jr. The major cellular sterol regulatory pathway is required for Andes virus infection. PLoS pathogens. 2014;10(2):e1003911. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1003911. PubMed PMID: 24516383; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3916400.
  38. Van Vranken JG, Bricker DK, Dephoure N, Gygi SP, Cox JE, Thummel CS, Rutter J. SDHAF4 promotes mitochondrial succinate dehydrogenase activity and prevents neurodegeneration. Cell metabolism. 2014;20(2):241-52. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2014.05.012. PubMed PMID: 24954416; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4126880.
  39. Xing L, Quist TS, Stevenson TJ, Dahlem TJ, Bonkowsky JL. Rapid and efficient zebrafish genotyping using PCR with high-resolution melt analysis. Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE. 2014(84):e51138. doi: 10.3791/51138. PubMed PMID: 24561516; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4116811.
  40. Beumer KJ, Trautman JK, Christian M, Dahlem TJ, Lake CM, Hawley RS, Grunwald DJ, Voytas DF, Carroll D. Comparing zinc finger nucleases and transcription activator-like effector nucleases for gene targeting in Drosophila. G3. 2013;3(10):1717-25. doi: 10.1534/g3.113.007260. PubMed PMID: 23979928; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3789796.
  41. Hu R, Wallace J, Dahlem TJ, Grunwald DJ, O’Connell RM. Targeting human microRNA genes using engineered Tal-effector nucleases (TALENs). PloS one. 2013;8(5):e63074. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0063074. PubMed PMID: 23667577; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3646762.

T7 sgRNA construct

Perfect for making CRISRP sgRNA RNA for injection into embryos, transfection into cells, or for use in vitro.  Can be paired with commercially available Cas9 protein to produce a functional CRSIRP RNP (ribonucleoprotein) complex or with Cas9 mRNA. This construct can be linearized to produce dsDNA template for any RNA in vitro transcription kit.


The following link is to a protocol on how to linearize the T7 Construct, how to make RNA in vitro, and how to purifiy that RNA. These protocols are only general guides.


Working With T7 CRISPR Construct


Transfection CRISPR Constructs

Perfect for transfection of the CRISPR-Cas9 system into cell lines using lipid reagents or electroporation. This Construct expresses both components of the CRISPR-Cas9 system, sgRNA and Cas9 protein, from one construct and comes in three different backbones:

  • Puromycin construct: contains a puromycin antibiotics selection gene attached to the Cas9 protein coding sequence via a 2A self-cleaving peptide sequence
  • transfectioncrisprreagentpuro
  • Blasticidin Transfection construct: contains a blasticidin antibiotics selection gene attached to the Cas9 protein coding sequence via a 2A self-cleaving peptide sequence
  • transfectioncrisprreagentblast
  • GFP Transfection construct: contains a GFP fluorescent reporter gene attached to the Cas9 protein coding sequence via a 2A self-cleaving peptide sequence
  • transfectioncrisprreagentgfp
  • mCherry Transfection construct: contains a mCherry fluorescent reporter gene attached to the Cas9 protein coding sequence via a 2A self-cleaving peptide sequence
  • transfectioncrisprreagentcherry
  • Standard Transfection construct: does not contain either a selection or a reporter gene


Lentiviral CRISPR Constructs

            Perfect for making virus particles for the transduction/infection of the CRISPR-Cas9 system into cell lines or primary cells. Transduction is used to achieve very high rates of expression per population, to infect hard to transfect cell lines, or to infect primary cells including primary T cells, hematopoietic stem cells, stem cells, iPSC, and others

These Constructs can be used in two ways

  • Can be transfected into cells using standard methods to validate that the CRISPR-Cas9 components are functional
  • After or before #1 these Constructs can be used to make lentiviral particles for transduction/infection of cells with the CRISPR-Cas9 components

These constructs come in four different backbones

  • Puromycin Lentiviral Construct: contains a puromycin antibiotics selection gene attached to the Cas9 protein coding sequence via a 2A self-cleaving peptide sequence
  • lentiviral-crispr-construct-puro
  • Blasticidin Lentiviral Construct: contains a blasticidin antibiotics selection gene attached to the Cas9 protein coding sequence via a 2A self-cleaving peptide sequence
  • lentiviral-crispr-construct-blast
  • GFP Lentiviral Construct: contains a GFP fluorescent reporter gene attached to the Cas9 protein coding sequence via a 2A self-cleaving peptide sequence
  • lentiviral-crispr-construct-gfp
  • mCherry Lentiviral Construct: comtains a mCherry fluorescent reporter gene attached to the Cas9 protein coding sequence via a 2A self-cleaving peptide sequence


Viral accessory and envelope constructs available upon request.

Engineered DNA Nucleases systems, TALEN and CRISPR-Cas9 (ZFNs before them), have allowed certain specific experimental questions to be answered using Model Organisms or Vectors where this was not possible before.  The basic thing to remember is if there is an embryo or cell that you can inject with mRNA/DNA or transfect plasmids into expressing an Engineered DNA nuclease then you can do any of the techniques mention on our website: targeted mutagenesis, deletion, tagging, etc.  Engineered DNA nuclease have been successfully used to alter a genomic locus in 13 different invertebrate models organisms, 13 different vertebrate models organisms, and 12 different plant species Organisms List.  Below is a listing of the Model Organisms for which our Core has produced successful DNA nucleases along links to papers for examples.

For our whole list of MGD Core publications, please click here.


G3 Drosophila Paper

Aedes aegypti

PLoS One Aedes aegypti Paper

Mouse and Human Cells

PLoS One Human Cells

Hours of Operation

Monday-Friday 9am-5pm


Eccles Institute of Human Genetics
Bldg. 533 Room 7470
15 North 2030 East
Salt Lake City UT 84112


Crystal Davey Ph.D., Director


Lilian Hayes, B.S. Lab Technician


Advisory Board Committee


David Grunwald, Ph.D. Professor, Department of Human Genetics (Senior Faculty Advisor)
Dana Carroll, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Biochemistry
Christopher Gregg, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy
Lewis Charles Murtaugh, Ph.D. Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Human Genetics

The Mutation Generation and Detection Core guarantees delivery of sequence confirmed plasmids to express TALEN or CRISPR-Cas9 DNA nucleases or delivery of plasmids for the expression of TALE activator or repression proteins.  However, we cannot and do not guarantee that these delivered plasmids will lead to the recovery of somatic or germ line mutations at your targeted genomic locus or will cause activation/repression of your gene of interest.


The MGD Core will do everything reasonably possible to assist you throughout the process.  Our main goal has always been to support scientist and help further their research.  If the plasmids provided by the MGD Core do not produce the expected affect please contact the MGD Core as we have protocols in place to deal with these specific situations.


As of May 2016 ~80% of the TALEN and Crispr constructs the MGD Core has made and delivered to researchers have confirm activity at the targeted locus.

Lonza’s 4D Nucleofector™ Technology is an improved electroporation technology that can help researchers achieve high transfection efficiencies in standard cell lines, primary cells, stem cells, and hard to transfect cell lines. With the 4D Nucleofector high efficiencies can be reached using much lower substrate amounts and with moderate impact on viability. The comprehensive way in which 4D Nucleofector™ Programs and cell type-specific solutions are developed enables nucleic acid and protein substrate delivery not only to the cytoplasm, but also through the nuclear membrane and into the nucleus. This allows for high efficiencies up to 99% and makes the transfection success independent from cell proliferation.


MGD Core Lonza 4D Nucleofector Units


The MGD Core has acquired a complete Lonza 4D Nucleofector System that any and all researchers can use.  This complete System is made up of four unique functional parts:


Core Unit – The main control center for the 4D-Nucleofector System that controls the function of all other units. It has a 5.7’’ touch screen to operate all units and is loaded with intuitive operation software for designing and saving individual experimental setups.


X Unit – This base unit allows Nucleofection of cells in suspension in 20ul Nucleocuvette 16-well strips or in single-use 100ul Nucleocuvettes. Each well in a 16-well Nucleocevette strip is electroporated independently allowing for different conditions to be tested and re-use of the strips if wells are not used. This unit is perfect for testing individual conditions on cells and for small-scale experiments.


Y Unit – This unit allows Nucleofection of cells while still adherent to 24 well culture plates. This unit is perfect for working with adherent cells, such as neurons derived from stem cells, which are not transfectable in suspension. Transfection of adherent cells using the Y unit may lead to more physiological response in cells.


96-well Shuttle – Controlled by the Core unit the 96-well Shuttle is an add-on unit that allows for convenient optimization of conditions or large-scale screens to be preformed. Each individual well is processed independently allowing 96 different experimental conditions to be tested at one time.

 96-well Shuttle

Location and usage


The full Lonza 4D Nucleofector System is housed in Room 7470 of the Eccles Institute of Human Genetics, along with a cell culture hood for researchers to work with their cells in and a 37C incubator to store their cell.


To reserve time to use the Lonza 4D Nucleofector System please use the following link to login to the HSC Core Research Facilities resource page. Select the Mutation Generation page option and then select the 4D Nucleofector page option. Here you can reserve time to use the System. Researchers will be charged a $5.00 fee for every 30 minutes block reserved. Individual experiments do not require more than one 30-minute block.

University of Utah Core Labs


Lonza optimized cell line protocol Databases


Lonza maintains two databases with protocols (including Nucleofector Solution types and program numbers) of optimized protocols for a wide range of cell lines.  Basically Lonza has already done the optimization experiment and determined the best conditions to achieve the highest transfection efficiency with the least amount of cell death. These databases are a good starting place to determine the most optimal protocol for working with your specific cell line.


Lonza’s public optimized cell line protocol database can be found at the following link:


Lonza also maintains a database of user-optimized protocols that is not publicly available. Please contact either Dr. Gregory Alberts or Haylee Erickson at the following information for access. Dr. Alberts is an expert on the use of the 4D Nucleofector System and a great resource for the best transfection protocols to use with your specific cell line. The following is a link to a seminar given by Dr. Alberts on using the 4D Nucleofection system: Dr. Alberts 4D Nucleofection System


Gregory Alberts, Ph.D.                         

Global Subject Matter Expert

Lonza Pharma Bioscience Solutions


Haylee Erickson                                   

Sales Specialist, Rocky Mnt/Pacific NW

Lonza Pharma Bioscience Solutions



4D Nucleofection of CRISPR RNP 


Original CRISPR-Cas9 experiments were performed using DNA vectors, viral vectors or RNA transfection to produce the components of the system: Cas9 protein and single guide RNAs (sgRNAs). New advances have demonstrated that these component can be produced and combined in vitro to form a ribonucleoprotein complex or RNP that is functional in vitro and in vivo without the need for transcription or translation. This CRISPR RNP complex a can be delivered directly to cells and results in immediate, efficient, and specific target cleavage by the CRISPR RNP.


Several labs have shown that combining the CRISPR RNP approach with the extremely high transfection efficiency of the Lonza 4D Nucleofection System can result in mutation frequencies reaching 90% of targeted gene copies in several different cell types. CRISPR RNP delivery is applicable to a wide range of cell types, including established cell lines, primary cells, adherent cells such as primary neurons, iPCS, and stem cells. With these cell types using the CRISPR RNP approach can dramatically shortened the time it takes to create targeted variants of your gene of.


Please contact the MGD Core if you have any questions concerning this approach or would like to discuss the possibility of using CRISPR RNP in your research. Also, the following link is a generalized protocol detailing how to combine the CRISPR RNP approach with the Lonza 4D Nucleofection System.


General Nucleofection Protocol


Reagents needed – information coming soon