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Crop Biotech Update

CRISPR-Cas9 Used to Study Genes Involved in Grapevine Disease Symptoms

May 13, 2020

Texas Tech University researchers used CRISPR-Cas9 technology in grapevine (Vitis vinifera) to elucidate the functions of specific genes in Pierce's disease and Grapevine Red Blotch Virus disease symptoms. The findings are released in Transgenic Research.

Pierce's disease is caused by the Xylella fastidiosa bacterium through xylem sap-sucking insects as vectors, while Grapevine Red Blotch Virus causes Red Blotch Disease and is transmitted by alfalfa leafhopper Spissistilus festinus. The effect of anthocyanin levels in specific tissues of grapevine on PD and GRBV disease symptoms remains unclear, and thus an investigation was conducted focusing on Trans-Acting Small-interfering locus4 (TAS4) and MYBA5/6/7 transcription factor.

Transgenic grape plants targeting TAS4b and MYBA7 were generated using CRISPR-Cas9 technology. There were no visible anthocyanin accumulation phenotypes observed in regenerated plants, possibly due to the presence of genetically redundant TAS4c and MYBA5/6 loci or absence of inductive environmental stress conditions.

Read more results in Transgenic Research.

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