Biotech Updates

CRISPR-Cas9 Used to Transform Normal Maize to Waxy Version

April 8, 2020

Scientists from Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences  and Anhui Agricultural University conducted a study to convert a normal maize hybrid into a waxy version using CRISPR-Cas9 mutation. Their findings are reported in The Crop Journal.

Waxy maize is a specialty maize that makes amylopectin starch which has special food or industry values. To ensure breeding efficiency from normal to waxy maize, CRISPR-Cas9 system was used involving desired-target mutation of the Wx locus in the ZC01  background (ZC01-DTMwx). The researchers applied triple selection to segregants to come up with high genome background recovery with transgene-free wx mutations. A total of 6 mutants were obtained among progeny crossed with ZC01-DTMwx. The mutant lines exhibited higher amylopectin contents in the endosperm starch compared to the wild type controls, while the agronomic performance remained similar.

The results of the study show a practical example of CRISPR-Cas9 mutation applied to industrial hybrids for transformation of recalcitrant species.

Read the research article in The Crop Journal.

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