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Crop Biotech Update

Researchers Generate Nulliplex Polyploid Arabidopsis using CRISPR-Cas9

March 22, 2017

Polyploidy has always been an evolutionary mechanism that enabled plant adaptation. However, analysis of gene function in polyploid plants has been limited due to challenges associated with developing knockout mutants for all gene copies in polyploid plants.

University of Ireland Galway researchers, led by Peter Ryder, investigated if CRISPR-Cas9 targeted mutagenesis can generate nulliplex tetraploid mutant lines in Arabidopsis thaliana. The team also compared the efficiency of targeted mutagenesis in tetraploids and diploids. They were successful in using CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing to generate knockout alleles of the TTG1 gene.

This study reveals that the CRISPR-Cas9 system is capable of directly generating homozygous nulliplex mutants from tetraploid Arabidopsis thaliana plants. This study provides the groundwork to more efficient generation of polyploid mutants for studying genome dosage effects in plants.

For more information on this study, read the article in Plant Cell Reports.