Biotech Updates

Researchers Use CRISPR-Cas9 for Gene Editing of Cavendish Banana

December 5, 2018

Cavendish banana takes almost half of global banana production worldwide. However, improvement of this cultivar is difficult because it is essentially sterile. Thus, scientists from Queensland University in Australia used CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing system to deliver a self-cleaving guide RNA designed to target the Phytoene desaturase (PDS) gene in the Cavendish cultivar Williams.

The researchers reported that genotyping of 19 various events showed the successful modification of the PDS gene through insertions or deletions at the target cleavage site. Disruptive changes were observed in 63 percent of the plants, which was characterized by albinism and dwarfing. Editing efficiency was observed to be dependent on both target site selection and Cas9 abundance.

The results of the study show that the CRISPR-Cas9 modification system could be used to develop better Cavendish banana with favorable traits such as disease resistance and other important agro-traits.

Read more from Transgenic Research.