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Crop Biotech Update

Method for Production of Non-transgenic Gene-edited Plants, Developed for Cloned Plants

September 5, 2018

Transgenes that originally bear the CRISPR-Cas9 genome-editing complex are removed from desirable edited plants through sexual segregation. However, this method cannot be done in asexually propagated perennial plants, which require several years to reach sexual maturity. Thus, scientist Yi Li from Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture in Connecticut, USA, and colleagues developed a method for producing non-transgenic CRISPR-Cas9-edited plants without sexual segregation.

The team targeted the phytoene desaturase (PDS) gene in tetraploid tobacco for Agrobacterium-mediated transient CRISPR-Cas9 expression and screened for mutants via Illumina sequencing, followed by High Resolution Melting (HRM) analysis. Through the method, they identified 17.2 percent non-transgenic plants. The method will be useful in the gene editing of crops that are difficult to regenerate, perennial, or asexually reproduced.

For more information, read the article in Horticulture Research.