Studies on Caenorhabditis elegans would benefit from the introduction of new selectable markers to allow more complex types of experiments to be conducted with this model animal. We established a new antibiotic selection marker for C. elegans transformation based on nourseothricin (NTC) and its resistance-encoding gene, streptothricin-acetyl transferase 2 (Sat2). NTC was able to efficiently prevent worm development at very low concentrations, and the worms expressing Sat2 were able to survive on the selection plates without any developmental defects. Using CRISPR/Cas9 and NTC selection, we were able to easily insert a 13-kb expression cassette into a defined locus in C. elegans. The structure and spectrum of NTC differs from other antibiotics like hygromycin B and geneticin, making it possible to use NTC alongside them. Indeed, we confirmed NTC-sat2 selection could work with the hygromycin B selection system simultaneously. Thus, the new NTC–Sat2 system can act as a useful dominant marker for gene transfer and genome editing in C. elegans.
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