Crop Biotech Update

Successful Deletion of Rice Retrotransposon Using CRISPR-Cas9

May 22, 2019

A successful example of transposon deletion using CRISPR-Cas9 as an alternative technique for plant breeding was presented by experts from National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (Japan) and Yokohama City University. The results of their study are published in Plant Cell Reports.

Studies have shown that transposition of transposable elements (TEs) has an impact on adjacent genes, which can lead to alterations in genetic traits, including expression levels and patterns, splicing and epigenetic status, and function of genes in or close to the added or removed locus may be affected. Intentional alteration of loci adjacent to TEs or TEs themselves using genome editing could mimic the naturally occurring translocation of TEs, and lead to development of novel plants. Thus, the researchers performed targeted deletion of Tos17 retrotransposon, which is flanked at both ends by long terminal repeat (LTR) sequences, through genome editing in rice.

Results showed successful targeted mutagenesis of the LTR, and targeted deletion between LTRs. From the transformed calli, the next generation of the regenerated plants lack Tos17. These results indicate successful deletion of the Tos17 retrotransposon from the rice genome using CRISPR-Cas9.

Read more about the study in Plant Cell Reports.