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Crop Biotech Update

Researchers Enhance Rice Blast Resistance via CRISPR/Cas9-Targeted Mutagenesis of OsERF922

September 21, 2016

Sequence-specific nucleases (SSNs) have known to be powerful tools for crop improvement, with CRISPR/Cas9 being thought to be the most effective. A team of researchers from Guangxi University, the Chinese Academy of Agriculture Sciences and the South China Agricultural University report on the improvement of rice blast resistance by targeting the OsERF922 gene in rice using CRISPR/Cas9 SSN (C-ERF922).

Twenty-one C-ERF922-induced mutants with various mutations at the target site were generated. All of the C-ERF922-induced allele mutations were also found to be transmitted to subsequent generations. From these, six T2 homozygous mutant lines were examined for blast resistance and agronomic traits.

All six mutant lines exhibited decreased blast lesions following pathogen infection compared with wild-types. In addition, no significant differences between the six mutant lines and the wild-type plants were detected. These results indicate that CRISPR/Cas9 can be a useful approach for enhancing blast resistance in rice.

For more information on this study, read the full article in Public Library of Science.