Corn, Other Important Crops Can Now Be Edited by Pollen Carrying CRISPRMarch 13, 2019
The genome editing tool CRISPR has transformed many areas of biology, but using it to enhance crops such as wheat and corn remains difficult because of the plants' tough cell walls. Now, a team of researchers has creatively solved that problem by using pollen from one genetically modified (GM) plant to carry CRISPR's components into another plant's cells.
The researchers used haploid induction, an odd phenomenon which allows pollen to fertilize plants without permanently transferring male genetic material to offspring. The new plants only have a female set of chromosomes, which makes them haploid instead of the traditional diploid.
The research team used a corn line that can be transformed with CRISPR using bacteria or gene gun technology, and that has a crippled version of a gene, MATRILINEAL, making its pollen able to trigger haploid induction. They then transformed this corn line with a gRNA/Cas9 combinations programmed to target genes related to different desirable traits. The pollen of these transformed plants could then spread the gRNA and Cas9 editing machinery to other corn varieties that had been recalcitrant to CRISPR.
This haploid induction-edit (HI-edit), as the researchers call the CRISPR pollen method, has only been done in laboratories. However, the researchers say that if it were done in the field, the changes would not spread because the male genome in the pollen disappears shortly after fertilization.
For more details, read the news article in Science.
Biotech Updates is a weekly newsletter of ISAAA, a not-for-profit organization. It is distributed for free to over 22,000 subscribers worldwide to inform them about the key developments in biosciences, especially in biotechnology. Your support will help us in our mission to feed the world with knowledge. You can help by donating as little as $10.
See more articles:
News from Around the World
- Genome of Ancient Crop Could Help Raise Yields
- GM Maize Additional Solution to Help Farmers Improve their Income
- IFPRI Study Says Farmers in Bangladesh Benefited by Adopting Bt Brinjal
- Golden Rice Available in Bangladesh in Months Time
- Scientists Decode the Genetic Basis of Floret Fertility in Wheat
- Research Team Identifies Gene Responsible for Diversity of Fruit Shapes in Brassicas
- Rice Pathogen Gene Enhances Soybean's Resistance to Phytophthora Root and Stem Rot
Beyond Crop Biotech
- Engineered Microbes Key to Producing Plastic from Plants
- Scientists Produce Marijuana Extract from Re-engineered Yeast
- U.S. FDA Lifts Import Ban on GE Salmon
From the BICs
- Tackling the Menace of Fall Armyworm to Bolster Farmers' Income in India
- PABIC Holds Scicom Workshop for Journalists in Pakistan
- Dek42 Encodes an RNA Binding Protein Affecting Maize Kernel Development
- The Current Status of CRISPR-Cas9 Applications in Food and Agri
- Corn, Other Important Crops Can Now Be Edited by Pollen Carrying CRISPR
Read the latest:
- Biotech Updates (November 29, 2023)
- Gene Editing Supplement (November 29, 2023)
- Gene Drive Supplement (February 22, 2023)
Subscribe to BU: