Biotech Updates

CRISPR Boosts Immunity and Yield of Wheat

February 21, 2024

Researchers used CRISPR-Cas9 in wheat, which improved its resistance to rust and increased its yield. Their findings offer germplasm resources that can be used for the breeding of high-resistance and high-yield plants.

The immune system of plants is regulated positively and negatively by different factors. An example of a negative regulator of plant immunity is MAP kinase phosphatase1 (MKP1). However, the molecular mechanisms involving MKP1's regulation of wheat (Triticum aestivum) are currently unclear.

Scientists from different institutions studied MKP1's role in wheat defense against two fungal pathogens. The team used CRISPR-Cas9 to knock down MKP1, which boosted the wheat's resistance to rust brought by Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst) and powdery mildew brought by Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici (Bgt). When compared with wild-type control plants, the mutated plants also had higher yields.

Read the article on Plant Biotechnology Journal for more information.

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