Crop Biotech Update

CRISPR-Cpf1 Used in Targeted Gene Replacement in Rice

August 22, 2018

CRISPR-Cpf1 is an alternative to CRISPR-Cas9, as it targets sequences that are inaccessible to Cas9 due to different recognizable sequence requirement. Both systems are usually used to produce mutations on a target site in the genome to enable the disruption of the gene of interest. A more limitedly used function of these systems is the homology-directed repair (HDR) of a DNA sequence of interest. In HDR, a specific allele is replaced or introduced to the genome. 

In the study, scientist Lanqin Xia from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and colleagues, replaced the wild-type ALS gene with a mutated version, which confers herbicide resistance, in rice using the CRISPR-Cpf1 system. They observed that using the left homologous arm as the only donor repair template is enough for a precise targeted allele replacement. The study allows a better understanding on and greatly simplified HDR in rice.

For more information, read the article in Journal of Experimental Botany.