Crop Biotech Update

CRISPR-Cas9 System Applicable in Cultivated Strawberry

March 21, 2018

Gene function studies for the cultivated strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa) are commonly conducted via gene silencing using intron hairpin RNA (ihpRNA)-based constructs. However, this system is not as efficient or stable as expected. Carmen Martin-Pizarro and David Posé Padilla of University of Malaga in Spain investigated the use of CRISPR-Cas9 system in this octoploid species, targeting the floral homeotic gene APETALA3 (AP3).

The developed gene-edited strawberry lines displayed defects in stamen and fruit development. Analysis of the targeted locus indicated differences in gene editing among different CRISPR-edited lines, and also found lines with mutations in all eight AP3 copies in the strawberry genome. More importantly, these mutations were maintained in clone plants generated from runners, ensuring the maintenance of the CRISPR-Cas9 edits during strawberry plant propagation.

CRISPR-Cas9 system is a functional tool to perform genome editing in cultivated strawberry. This system could be an alternative strategy for functional analysis of genes in this crop.

For more information, read the article in Repositorio International de la Universidad de Malaga.