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Crop Biotech Update

Researchers Control Rice Hull Color via CRISPR

May 16, 2018

Rice chalcone isomerase gene (OsCHI) is a recessive gene that controls rice hull color. To develop OsCHI mutants in rice, the team of Zhiqun Que from Yichun University in China designed a CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing vector, harboring a single guide RNA targeting OsCHI.

The designed plasmid was transformed into the rice cultivar Taipei309 via Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. The team obtained four OsCHI-knockout mutant rice plants, including two homozygous deletion mutations and two heterozygous deletion mutations. Almost all developed mutants exhibited brown pigmentation in the panicle at heading stage, which then turned golden at maturity.

CRISPR-editing OsCHI successfully developed rice golden hull mutants and also proves that CRISPR-Cas9 is a powerful tool for rice genetic improvement.

For more information, read the article in Journal of Biobased Materials and Bioenergy.