Biotech Updates

Researchers Use Virus in Wheat and Maize Genome Editing

July 10, 2019

Scientists from China Agricultural University engineered a barley stripe mosaic virus (BSMV)-based guide RNA delivery system for targeted mutagenesis in wheat and maize. The results are published in Molecular Plant Pathology.

BSMV‐based delivery of single gRNAs for CRISPR-Cas9-mediated targeted mutagenesis was first used in Nicotiana benthamiana, a close relative of tobacco. To test if this can also be applied to economically important crops, the researchers transformed wheat and maize with Cas9 nuclease gene and selected the wheat TaGASR7 and maize ZmTMS5 genes as targets to evaluate the feasibility and efficiency of BSMV‐mediated mutagenesis. Results showed that targeted mutagenesis was successful for wheat and maize with efficiencies reaching 78% and 48%, respectively.

Based on the results, BSMV‐based delivery of single gRNAs could be a useful tool in economically important crops.

Read more results in Molecular Plant Pathology.