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Crop Biotech Update

CRISPR-Cas9 Reveals Role of SlPHO1;1 in Phosphate Nutrition of Tomato Seedlings

December 12, 2018

In vascular and nonvascular plants, PHOSPHATE1 (PHO1) homologs have vital functions in the harvesting and transferring of phosphate. In tomatoes, six genes (SlPHO1;1SlPHO1;6) are homologous to Arabidopsis' PHO1 (AtPHO1). Thus, scientists from Chinese Academy of Sciences used CRISPR-Cas9 to reveal the function of PHO1 in phosphate nutrition of tomatoes.

An analysis showed that SlPHO1 family is composed of three clusters, wherein SlPHO1;1 is the most similar to AtPHO1. SlPHO1;1 deletion mutants induced by CRISPR-Cas9 displayed typical symptoms of inorganic phosphate (Pi) starvation, such as decreased shoot fresh weight and increased root fresh weight, therefore having a greater root-to-shoot ratio. Mutants also exhibited higher levels of anthocyanin and soluble Pi in the root and less in the shoot.

The findings imply that indicate that SlPHO1;1 plays an important role in Pi transport in the tomato at the seedling stage.

Read the research article in Physiologia Plantarum for more information.