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Crop Biotech Update

Optimized CRISPR-Cas9 Induces Targeted Mutation in Kiwifruit

January 24, 2018

Kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa) is an important fruit crop but has limited technologies for its genetic improvement. The CRISPR-Cas system has been successfully used in many crops, but it has not been used in kiwifruit. Furthermore, optimizing the conditions for its use in a particular plant species is needed to achieve efficient genome editing.

The team of Zupeng Wang from the Chinese Academy of Sciences aimed to apply CRISPR-Cas in kiwifruit. The team created a synthetic guide RNA (sgRNA)-Cas9 vector that targets the kiwifruit phytoene desaturase gene (AcPDS). Albino kiwifruit plants were successfully obtained, a phenotype caused by a knocked-out AcPDS gene.

The vectors used were compared with other vectors that contain different sgRNA. While all vectors can induce albino phenotype of kiwifruit, they found that the polycistronic tRNA-sgRNA cassette (PTG-Cas9) system was significantly more efficient in kiwifruit genome editing.

This study proves that the CRISPR-Cas9 system can be applied in kiwifruit genome editing. The sgRNA in this system can also be optimized, as exemplified by the PTG-Cas9, and can provide clues for optimizing CRISPR-Cas9 system in other plants.

For more information, read the article in Plant Biotechnology Journal.