DNA double-strand break (DSB)-mediated genome rearrangements are assumed to provide diverse raw genetic materials enabling accelerated adaptive evolution; however, it remains unclear about the consequences of massive simultaneous DSB formation in cells and their resulting phenotypic impact. Here, we establish an artificial genome-restructuring technology by conditionally introducing multiple genomic DSBs in vivo using a temperature-dependent endonuclease TaqI. Application in yeast and Arabidopsis thaliana generates strains with phenotypes, including improved ethanol production from xylose at higher temperature and increased plant biomass, that are stably inherited to offspring after multiple passages. High-throughput genome resequencing revealed that these strains harbor diverse rearrangements, including copy number variations, translocations in retrotransposons, and direct end-joinings at TaqI-cleavage sites. Furthermore, large-scale rearrangements occur frequently in diploid yeasts (28.1%) and tetraploid plants (46.3%), whereas haploid yeasts and diploid plants undergo minimal rearrangement. This genome-restructuring system (TAQing system) will enable rapid genome breeding and aid genome-evolution studies.
Journal: Nature communications