Crop Biotech Update

Gene Promoter Used to Optimize CRISPR for Targeted Genome Editing in Maize

April 4, 2018

The promoters driving both Cas9 and sgRNAs are quite important for efficient genome editing by CRISPR-Cas9 in plants. The team of Chao Feng from the Chinese Academy of Sciences tested the combination of maize dmc1 gene promoter and the U3 promoter for the Cas9 and sgRNA, respectively.

Three loci in the maize genome were selected for targeting. The T0 plants developed were efficiently edited at the target sites with mutants accounting for about 66%. The mutations in T0 plants were found to be stably transmitted to the T1 generation. Analysis also indicated that no off‐target mutations were detected at potential off-target sites.

These results show that the dmc1 promoter-controlled CRISPR-Cas9 system is highly efficient for maize. This study provides evidence that the optimization of the promoters for the CRISPR-Cas9 system can enhance the efficiency of targeted genome editing in plants.

For more information, read the article in Plant Biotechnology Journal.