Cpf1 endonuclease in C. elegans

Dear Worm-community,

I am an undergrad student from Germany who recently stumbled upon the Cpf1 endonuclease described in Zetsche et al., 2015.
Regarding this enzyme I would like to ask a few questions and hopefully get a few answers in response.
First of all, has anyone of you guys tried to use Cpf1 in C. elegans already and would be willing to share their experiences?
The enzyme has so far only been used in mammalian cells (as long as I know), what are the reasons for/against usage in C. elegans?

In account of my missing experience in this field I would be more than happy about additional links and/or papers related to my questions.

I wish you all an exciting and successful research-week,
Thank you already,


From a recent review from Dan Dickinson (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4788126/#bib55) it seems that Cpf1 has not been tried yet in elegans.
However it seems to work in Drosophila (http://www.nature.com/nmeth/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nmeth.3972.html) so it is “surprising” that it does not work in the worm (maybe a temperature issue)

Could you share a bit more about the way you tried it in the worm, to see if there is anything funky in your protocol that could explain the fact that it does not work ?


First of all, thank you for your response.

I have not tried out Cpf1 in C. Elegans yet, but because of the relatively low efficiency of HDR in combination with cas9 (at least in my lab) I am more than excited to give it a try.
As soon as I have a protocol or results I’ll let you know.

Thank’s again,


Before going to HDR, you can simply try to mutate some easy to spot genes like dpy-10 or unc-119.
This is a rather quick test to first see if it is working or not.

We compared Cas9 and Cpf1 using the dpy-10 assay. Injection of purified Cas9 or Cpf1 protein with synthetic guideRNA and an oligonucleotide repair template in both cases resulted in plates with
high numbers of Dpy’s and Rollers (“jackpot” plates). However, the overall efficiency of Cas9 appears to be higher as Cpf1. The main advantage of having Cpf1 is therefore the additional flexibility in
guideRNA disign.

Please contact me directly if you would like to know more details of our procedure.


Rik Korswagen