Injecting gryllus bimaculatus eggs
Altering gene function in a developing organism is central to different kinds of experiments. While tremendously powerful genetic tools have been developed in traditional model systems, it is difficult to manipulate genes or messenger RNA (mRNA) in most other organisms. At the same time, evolutionary and comparative approaches rely on an exploration of gene function in many different species, necessitating the development and adaptation of techniques for manipulating expression outside currently genetically tractable species. This protocol describes a method for injecting reagents into cricket eggs to assay the effects of a given manipulation on embryonic or larval development. Instructions for how to collect and inject eggs with beveled needles are described. This relatively straightforward technique is flexible and potentially adaptable to other insects. One can gather and inject dozens of eggs in a single experiment, and survival rates for buffer-only injections improve with practice and can be as high as 80%. This technique will support several types of experimental approaches including injection of pharmacological agents, in vitro capped mRNA to express genes of interest, double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) to achieve RNA interference, use of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) in concert with CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) reagents for genomic modification, and transposable elements to generate transient or stable transgenic lines.
Barry, Samantha K.; Nakamura, Taro; Matsuoka, Yuji; Straub, Christoph; Horch, Hadley W.; and Extavour, Cassandra G., "Injecting gryllus bimaculatus eggs" (2019). Biology Faculty Publications. 96.