The CRISPR–Cas12a is a class II, type V clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) system with both RNase and DNase activity. Compared to the CRISPR–Cas9 system, it recognizes T-rich PAM sequences and has the advantage of multiplex genomic editing. Here, in fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, we successfully implemented the CRISPR–Cas12a system for versatile genomic editing and manipulation. In addition to the rrk1 promoter, we used new pol II promoters from endogenous coding genes to express crRNA for Cas12a and obtained a much higher editing efficiency. This new design expands the promoter choices for potential applications in fission yeast and other organisms. In addition, we expressed a gRNA array using a strong constitutive pol II promoter. The array transcript is processed by Cas12a itself to release multiple mature crRNAs. With this construct, multiplex genomic editing of up to three loci was achieved from a single yeast transformation. We also built a CRISPR interference system using a DNase-dead Cas12a to significantly repress endogenous gene expression. Our study provides the first CRISPR-Cas12a toolkit for efficient and rapid genomic gene editing and regulation in fission yeast.
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