Biotech Updates

Kansas State University and University of Saskatchewan Team Up to Improve Wheat Using CRISPR

August 12, 2020

Kansas State University and the University of Saskatchewan have teamed up to improve the productivity and nutrition of wheat using genome editing technology. Using genome editing to target genes that are linked to valuable agronomic traits allows researchers to accelerate the development of crops that produce higher yields, are more nutritious, or yield higher-quality grain.

Eduard Akhunov, a wheat geneticist who will lead K-State's work on this project in collaboration with colleague Harold Trick's research team, said, "CRISPR is a powerful and extremely precise molecular tool capable of making targeted changes in genetic code. It allows us to produce novel variants of genes that have improved properties and create a positive impact on the traits of interest."

The project will use CRISPR to introduce domesticated traits into wild wheat relatives. Akhunov said that the new project will also test a new strategy to create novel trait variation by mutating a region of the wheat genome that is responsible for regulating genes tied to nitrogen uptake, carbon fixation, growth, and nutrient remobilization.

For more details, read the article in K-State Research and Extension News.

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