Crop Biotech Update

CRISPR-Cas9 Can Modify Cotton Bollworm Genes

March 28, 2018

Cotton bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera) is one of the most disastrous pests worldwide, threatening various food crops. Genomic tools may provide effective ways to manage this pest. The team of Ming‐Hui Jin from Southwest University in China aimed to test the CRISPR-Cas9 system to induce mutations for targeted mutagenesis in cotton bollworm.

By injecting a single guide RNA (sgRNA) together with the Cas9 protein, the team obtained predictable mutations in the cotton bollworm genome. The team was also successful in generating several types of gene modifications using different combinations of sgRNA and Cas9 pairs, including mutations in the HaCad and HaABCC2 genes of the cotton bollworm.

These findings indicated the applicability of CRISPR-Cas9 to the cotton bollworm. CRISPR presents an efficient tool to engineer genomes of the insect for its management.

For more information, read the article in Insect Science.