Crop Biotech Update

Generation of Parthenocarpic Tomato Plants using CRISPR-Cas9

November 2, 2017

Parthenocarpy in horticultural crop plants is an important trait with agricultural value for various industrial purposes as well as direct eating quality. The team of Risa Ueta from Tokushima University in Japan introduced a breeding strategy to generate parthenocarpic tomato plants using the CRISPR-Cas9 system.

The team used the CRISPR-Cas9 system to introduce mutations effectively into SlIAA9, a key gene controlling parthenocarpy. The team achieved mutation rates of up to 100% in the T0 generation. Further analysis revealed that no off-target mutations were induced in the host genome. The regenerated mutants exhibited morphological changes in leaf shape as well as a seedless fruit, the characteristic of parthenocarpic tomato. The segregated next generation (T1) also showed phenotype associated with the mutated genome.

The system in this study could be used to produce parthenocarpy in a wide variety of tomato cultivars, as well as in other major horticultural crops.

For more on this study, read the article in Scientific Reports.