Biotech Updates

Indian Researchers Test CRISPR-Cas9 Genome Editing in Banana

December 13, 2017

CRISPR-Cas9 has been reported for precise genome modification in many plants. However, it has not been reported in banana. To prove this concept, researchers from the National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute in India performed a mutation in the phytoene desaturase gene (RAS-PDS) of banana cv. Rasthali using the CRISPR-Cas9 system.

Two PDS genes, RAS-PDS1 and RAS-PDS2, were isolated from Rasthali and analysis confirmed that both PDS comprises conserved motifs for enzyme activity. A single guide RNA (sgRNA) was designed to target the conserved region of these two RAS-PDS genes and transformed with Cas9 in embryogenic cell suspension (ECS) cultures.

Complete albino and variegated phenotype were observed among the generated plantlets. DNA sequencing of 13 plants confirmed indels with a 59% mutation frequency in RAS-PDS. The decreased chlorophyll and total carotenoid contents were observed in mutant lines, revealing the functional disruption of both RAS-PDS genes.

These results demonstrate that genome editing through CRISPR-Cas9 can be applied for banana genome modification.

For more information, read the article in Functional & Integrative Genomics.