Crop Biotech Update

Scientists Explored the Use of CRISPR-Cas9 to Improve Kitaake Rice

December 4, 2019

Scientists from Universitas Gadjah Mada and Research and Development Center for Biotechnology and Genetic Resources, Indonesia aimed to increase food supply in less land by developing a superior rice cultivar using CRISPR-Cas9 method. They targeted to mutate the GA20ox-2 gene to boost yield and drought tolerance. The results are published in Agricultural Science journal.

The researchers obtained non-transgenic mutant plants (non Cas9 and hpt genes), to study the GA20ox-2 gene expression levels, and investigate the tolerance levels of the CRISPR-Cas9-OsGA20ox-2 mutant lines 'Kitaake' T2 generation under drought conditions. Generating 20 non-transgenic plants, the expression levels of Cas9 and hpt genes ranged from 0 to 50%. DNA mutations, through the deletion of 44 bases and insertion of two bases were transcribed into RNA. The transcription resulted in fewer amino acids, compared to the wild type, leading to varied phenotypic expressions. One of the mutant lines exhibited shorter height and leaf length, but this did not reduce the yield potential of the crop or improved tolerance to drought.

Read the abstract in Agricultural Science Journal of Universitas Gadjah Mada.

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