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Recent advances in mosquito genomics and genetic engineering technologies have fostered a need for quick and efficient methods for detecting targeted DNA sequence variation on a large scale. Specifically, detecting insertions and deletions (indels) at gene-edited sites generated by CRISPR guide RNA (gRNA)/Cas9-mediated non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) is important for assessing the fidelity of the mutagenesis and the frequency of unintended changes. We describe here a protocol for digital-droplet PCR (ddPCR) that is well-suited for high-throughput NHEJ analysis. While this method does not produce data that identifies individual sequence variation, it provides a quantitative estimate of the sequence variation within a population. Additionally, with appropriate resources, this protocol can be implemented in a field-site laboratory setting more easily than next-generation or Sanger sequencing. ddPCR also has a faster turn-around time for results than either of those methods, which allows a more quick and complete analysis of genetic variation in wild populations during field trials of genetically-engineered organisms.

Original publication




Journal article


J Vis Exp

Publication Date



Animals, CRISPR-Cas Systems, Culicidae, Gene Editing, INDEL Mutation, Polymerase Chain Reaction, RNA, Guide, Kinetoplastida