The centrosome proteome comprises hundreds of proteins whose function at the organelle and in the cellular context is unknown. Loss-of-function studies present a powerful tool to probe the roles of these individual constituents and hence improve our insight into key questions of centrosome biology such as how centrosomes are built, how they duplicate, and which cellular processes they partake in. In cultured cells ribonucleic acid (RNA) interference remains the most widely used method to achieve protein depletion, but due to the remarkable stability of many centrosome components depletion is often incomplete. In such instances genome editing provides a viable alternative. The exceptionally high homologous recombination rate of chicken DT40 cells makes this lymphocytic cell line ideal for genetic manipulation. Here we describe methods for the design and generation of knockouts and in situ tagging of genes in these cells. Furthermore, we report an optimized technique that allows isolation of centrosomes from DT40 cells for use in in vitro functional assays and proteomic analysis. Gene editing by CRISPR-Cas9 technology is fast replacing RNA interference as a method of choice for loss-of-function studies, but the combination of the fast cell cycle, the robustness in culture and ease of gene targeting, will continue to make DT40 cells a useful model system for studies of vertebrate protein function.