Crop Biotech Update

CRISPR-Cas9 Used to Confer Virus Resistance in Plants

November 21, 2018

Plant viruses such as the members of class geminiviridae cause in major losses in crop yield and revenue. Unfortunately, techniques such as pathogen-derived resistance and RNA interference showed low rates of success. With increasing developments in the usage of CRISPR-Cas9 technology, researcher Caixia Gao from the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences and colleagues take advantage of this technique to confer virus resistance in plants.

In their study published in BMC Genome Biology, the researchers first determined the effect of off-target mutations on plant virus resistance and further construct two virus-inducible CRISPR/Cas9 vectors to stop the accumulation of beet severe curly top virus (BSCTV) in tobacco and Arabidopsis through stable and transient expressions. Results showed no detectable off-target mutations caused by the developed genome editing system. The authors end by recommending the technique to be used on crops.

For more information, read the article in BMC Genome Biology.