Crop Biotech Update

Inducible CRISPR-Cas9 Improves the Precision of Genome Editing in Rice

September 18, 2019
One-step heat-shock treatment of regenerated plants in the tissue culture at 42oC for 3 hours induces CRISPR-Cas9 effects that are established in the germline of the parent plant and transmitted to the progeny.

DNA delivery into tissue cultures is a simple method for expressing CRISPR-Cas9 and creating genome edits in the plants. This approach, however, allows strong doses of CRISPR-Cas9 to persist far beyond the incidence of targeting i.e. until genetic segregation of the Cas9 gene.

Although precision is an inherent quality of CRISPR-Cas9, the strong persistent doses in numerous cells throughout the life span of the plant is concerning. Specifically, overexpression of CRISPR-Cas9 could lead to targeting of numerous other sites in the genome.

University of Arkansas scientists developed an inducible CRISPR-Cas9 system for controlled genome editing, and demonstrated its efficiency and precision in rice. CRISPR-Cas9 could be induced by one-step heat-shock treatment leading to high incidence of targeted mutations in the rice plants that were inherited by the progeny (Fig. 1). In summary, this inducible CRISPR-Cas9 is a controlled, reasonably efficient platform for genome editing, and therefore, a promising tool for improving the precision of genome editing methods.

Read the research article in Plant Direct for more information.

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