Crop Biotech Update

Scientists Develop Shorter Canola to Minimize Lodging

February 2, 2022

Researchers at the University of Calgary used gene editing technology to develop a shorter, highly branched canola variety with more pods and easier to harvest. This improvement is based on the needs of canola producers.

This type of canola is 34 percent shorter than the average height of canola plants. Decreasing the height of the plant is intended for minimizing lodging. It is difficult to control the height of canola, thus it is prone to lodging. The researchers used CRISPR-Cas9 technology and targeted the strigolactone hormone, which is responsible for turning off branching in the plant. They used molecular scissors to knock out receptors that perceive strigolactone.

The gene-edited canola was not intended for commercial use. However, it served as a proof of concept to be tested in the germplasm of seed companies to check if there would be a yield increase.

Read more from Manitoba Cooperator.

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