Crop Biotech Update

Scientists Use CRISPR to Develop Apples Resistant to Fire Blight

September 25, 2019

Erwinia amylovora, the bacterium that causes the fire blight disease in apple, triggers its infection through the DspA/E effector which interacts with the apple susceptibility protein MdDIPM4. Researchers from Fondazione Edmund Mach used the CRISPR-Cas9 system to produce defective MdDIPM4 which were delivered to susceptible apples using Agrobacterium tumefaciens. The results are published in the Plant Biotechnology Journal.

A total of 57 transgenic lines were generated with an editing efficiency of 75%. Out of the 57, 7 lines exhibited successful mutation leading to loss of function of MdDIPM4. These lines were exposed to fire blight and results showed a highly significant reduction of susceptibility when compared to the control.

The results provide information on the development and application of CRISPR-Cas9 for the production of edited apples with a minimal trace of exogenous DNA.

Read more results in the Plant Biotechnology Journal.

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