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Crop Biotech Update

CRISPR-Cas9 Used to Target Rice Blast Fungus

October 17, 2018
The rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae is an important pathogen of rice, such that it is the most significant threat to rice production, and manipulating it can be a relevant tool in managing the disease.

Researcher Nicholas Talbot from The Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich and colleagues used CRISPR-Cas9 system expression in complex with ribonucleoprotein to target M. oryzae. They found out that Cas9 is toxic to the fungus. Thus, linking the CRISPR-Cas9 system to ribonucleoprotein was done to obtain stable transformed fungi. Results showed precise and fast manipulation of M. oryzae genome. The researchers add that this method can also be used in other fungal pathogens of other species.

For more information, read the article in Scientific Reports.