Biotech Updates

Enhanced Prime Editing Leads to Heritable Mutations in Maize

December 21, 2022

The Journal of Integrative Plant Biology released a breakthrough report that optimized prime editing can efficiently generate heritable mutations in maize. Researchers from China Agricultural University and Henan University conducted the study.

Efficiency is the main challenge in prime editing in maize. In research involving mammalian cells and rice, prime editing efficiency was significantly improved through prime editing guide RNAs (pegRNAs) that led to optimizing the primer editor (PE) protein and modifying cellular determinants of prime editing. Thus, the research team tested the same strategy in maize using a system called ePE5.

The researchers reported that the ePE5max system efficiently generated heritable mutations that conferred resistance to herbicides that block the activity of 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS), acetolactate synthase (ALS), or acetyl CoA carboxylase (ACCase). Based on the results, the ePE5max system has high efficiency that generates heritable mutations in maize target genes, eliminating the main challenge in using prime editing in maize.

Read the open-access article in the Journal of Integrative Plant Biology.

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