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Crop Biotech Update

Transgene-free PDS Mutants in Potato Generated

September 23, 2020

Researchers from NARIC Agricultural Biotechnology Institute in Hungary successfully developed transgene-free potato mutants using CRISPR-Cas9 and Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. The results are published in BMC Biotechnology.

Agrobacterium-mediated gene transfer is commonly used in plants. To remove the transgene in the succeeding generations, selfing is applied by breeders. However, this method cannot be applied in several commercial tomato varieties due to self-incompatibility. Thus, the researchers tested the efficiency of a temporary expression of Cas9 system targeting the PHYTOENE DESATURASE (PDS) gene which is involved in carotenoid biosynthesis. Upon vegetative propagation from stem segments in vitro, the phenotype of the plants obtained even by positive selection of the new vector did not change, suggesting that the expression of Cas9 and gPDS is silenced or that the DNA repair system is highly active during the vegetative growth phase in potato.

Read more results in BMC Biotechnology.

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