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Crop Biotech Update

CRISPR-Cas12a-based DNA Test Used in Disease Detection and GMO Identification

January 22, 2020

DNA test is widely used for disease detection and identification of GMOs. However, DNA test is expensive and there is a need to develop a rapid, low-cost, user-friendly, and field-deployable DNA test method. Huazhong Agricultural University scientists developed a CRISPR-Cas9-based DNA detection method and the results are released in Molecular Breeding.

Fourteen (14) CRISPR RNAs were engineered to target two rice blast fungus genes and a synthetic Cry1C gene used in Bt rice. With the use of a fluorescent reporter, the targeted genes were easily detected LbCas12a after recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) for all CRISPR RNAs. Then the researchers put together the filter paper-based DNA extraction and lateral flow assay (LFA) with RPA-Cas12a for DNA detection. No extra instrumentation was needed except for filter paper and LFA strip.

Rice blast pathogen and Bt rice were efficiently identified from leaf disc samples using the modified DNA test method with highly active CRISPR RNAs. Based on the findings, the optimized DNA test method could be applied in disease diagnosis and GMO administration.

Read more results in Molecular Breeding.

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