Crop Biotech Update

Chinese Scientists Perform Gene Replacement in Rice

April 4, 2018

Precise replacement of an existing allele in commercial cultivars with an elite allele is a major goal in crop breeding. A single nucleotide polymorphism in NRT1.1B gene between japonica and indica rice varieties is responsible for the improved nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) in rice (Oryza sativa).

A team of researchers from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences used the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology to replace the japonica NRT1.1B allele with an indica allele. The developed CRISPR-edited rice lines exhibited improved NUE. Furthermore, no additional selection pressure was needed to develop these improved rice lines.

The study showed the feasibility of replacing a gene with elite alleles, allowing more approaches to improve agriculturally important traits.

For more information, read the article in Journal of Integrative Plant Biology.