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Crop Biotech Update

CRISPR-Cas9 Delivered in Wheat Using Agrobacterium

November 28, 2018

Researchers have been using biolistics in delivering the genome editing complex in wheat due to difficulties in Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation in the species. However, scientist Shujuan Zhang from Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences in China and colleagues overcome this limitation by successfully targeting three wheat genes using CRISPR-Cas9 delivered via Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation.

Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation is considered to be better than biolistic delivery because the latter produces single and more specific insertions of the genome editing complex in the genome and does not require expensive equipment. In the study, seven target sites in genes Pinb, waxy and DA1 were selected for gene editing. Mutations were detected through Illumina sequencing. Results showed efficient gene editing in the target, with 54.17 percent mutation efficiency. Mutations are present in the A and B genomes but not in the D genome. Off-target mutations were not detected in the mutant plants. These results show the applicability of Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation in wheat genome editing and genetic improvement.

For more information, read the article in BMC Plant Biology.