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Crop Biotech Update

CRISPR-Cas9 System Used to Develop Pink Tomatoes

May 9, 2018

Fruit color is regarded as one of the most important commercial traits in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). Different regions have different color preferences, with pink tomatoes being popular in Asia, particularly in China and Japan. The team of Lei Deng from the Chinese Academy of Sciences aims to develop pink tomatoes by targeting the SlMYB12 gene, a key gene in flavonoid accumulation in tomato.

The team used CRISPR-Cas9 to disrupt the SlMYB12 gene in red-fruit tomato lines. Eleven individual T0 regeneration plants were developed, 10 of which had at least one mutated SlMYB12 allele, indicating high editing efficiency (90.9%). All homozygous and bi-allelic mutants displayed a pink fruit phenotype.

No off-target mutations were detected at any of the three potential off-target sites suggesting that the sgRNAs used were specific for their recognition sites.

For more information, read the article in Journal of Genetics and Genomics.