Crop Biotech Update

CRISPR Apple Exhibits Less Phloridzin and Normal Growth

December 7, 2022

Experts from the Research and Innovation Centre of Edmund Mach Foundation and partners used CRISPR-Cas9 to MdPGT1 in apples, which led to reduced foliar phloridzin without impacting plant growth. The results are published in The Plant Journal.

Phloridzin is the most abundant polyphenolic compound in apples, which results from the action of a critical phloretin-specific UDP-2′-O-glucosyltransferase (MdPGT1). The researchers simultaneously assessed the effects of targeting MdPGT1 by conventional transgenesis and CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing. Transcriptomic and metabolic analyses of MdPGT1 RNA interference knockdown and genome-edited lines were conducted. Knockdown lines showed signs of plant growth and leaf morphology disruption, while the genome-edited lines exhibited normal growth despite reduced foliar phloridzin.

The findings illustrate how CRISPR-Cas9 can be used to understand the contribution of genes involved in phloridzin biosynthesis in apples.

Read the research article in The Plant Journal.

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