CRISPR/Cas9-based genome editing can easily generate knockout mouse models by disrupting the gene sequence, but its efficiency for creating models that require either insertion of exogenous DNA (knock-in) or replacement of genomic segments is very poor. The majority of mouse models used in research involve knock-in (reporters or recombinases) or gene replacement (e.g., conditional knockout alleles containing exons flanked by LoxP sites). A few methods for creating such models have been reported that use double-stranded DNA as donors, but their efficiency is typically 1–10% and therefore not suitable for routine use. We recently demonstrated that long single-stranded DNAs (ssDNAs) serve as very efficient donors, both for insertion and for gene replacement. We call this method efficient additions with ssDNA inserts–CRISPR (Easi-CRISPR) because it is a highly efficient technology (efficiency is typically 30–60% and reaches as high as 100% in some cases). The protocol takes ∼2 months to generate the founder mice.
Nat Protoc. 2018 Jan;13(1):195-215. doi: 10.1038/nprot.2017.153. Epub 2017 Dec 21.