CRISPR/Cas9-Induced Mutations in SELF PRUNING 5G Promotes Day-neutrality and Early Yield in Tomato
Day-length sensitivity in crops limits their range of cultivation, making modifications in photo period response critical for domestication. The flowering repressor, SELF-PRUNING5G (SP5G), expression is highly induced during long days in wild species, but not in cultivated tomato because of cis-regulatory variation.
Sebastian Soyk from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in USA, together with a team of scientists from various research institutions, used CRISPR/Cas9 to generate mutations in SP5G in tomato in hopes of manipulating photoperiod response. CRISPR/Cas9-engineered mutations in SP5G caused rapid flowering and enhanced the compact determinate growth habit of field tomatoes, resulting in a quick burst of flower production, thus, early yield.
The study found that pre-existing variation in SP5G facilitated the expansion of cultivated tomato beyond its origin, and they provide a compelling demonstration of the power of gene editing to rapidly improve yield traits in crop breeding.
For more on this study, read the full article in Nature Genetics.
This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)