Crop Biotech Update

Experts Use TALENs and Agrobacterium to Improve Potatoes

September 27, 2023

Researchers from RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science and partners used a gene editing tool and Agrobacterium to improve potatoes free from foreign genes. The results of their study is published in Plant Biotechnology. 

Gene editing is a popular method for improving crops, but it can be challenging to use in crops that are propagated vegetatively. One of the ways to still use gene editing is through a transient expression system in Agrobacterium. However, this method has a drawback, as it cannot be used to select edited individuals.

In the study conducted by RIKEN and partners, the researchers combined the transient expression of a gene using TALENs with the expression of a regeneration-promoting gene. Regeneration-promoting genes help plant cells to develop into shoots.

This led the researchers to successfully edit the genes of potatoes and obtain regenerated shoots. They also confirmed that the gene-edited potatoes did not contain the sequence of the vector used in Agrobacterium. The next step of the team is to obtain regulatory approval in Japan for field tests.

This new method has the potential to accelerate the development of new potato varieties with improved traits, such as resistance to pests and diseases or enhanced nutritional value.

Download the article from Plant Biotechnology  for more findings.

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