Crop Biotech Update

Remodeling Rice Cell Walls Boosts Lodging Resistance, Biomass Saccharification, and Cadmium Resistance

July 27, 2023

A study published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials reported that CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing can be used to improve rice lodging resistance. The study, conducted by researchers at Shenyang Agricultural University in China, found that two independent mutants of rice, fc19-1 and fc19-2, exhibited increased lodging resistance after being edited with CRISPR-Cas9.

The fc19-1 and fc19-2 mutants were created by introducing mutations into the OsIRX10 gene, which is involved in cell wall remodeling. The mutations resulted in changes to the composition of the cell wall, making it more brittle but also more resistant to breaking. In addition to improved lodging resistance, the fc19-1 and fc19-2 mutants also showed increased biomass saccharification and cadmium resistance. Biomass saccharification is the process of converting plant biomass into sugar, which can then be used to produce biofuels or other products. Cadmium is a heavy metal that is toxic to plants, but the fc19-1 and fc19-2 mutants showed lower levels of cadmium accumulation in their roots and shoots.

According to the researchers, CRISPR-Cas9-mediated mutations in OsIRX10 led to changes in the expression of genes involved in carbohydrate and phenylpropanoid metabolism, which in turn resulted in the observed improvements in lodging resistance, biomass saccharification, and cadmium resistance.

The study provides a promising new approach for improving the resilience of rice crops to a variety of environmental stresses.

Read the research article for more details.

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