Crop Biotech Update

New Cas12a Enzymes Show Promise for Plant Gene Editing

October 11, 2023

Experts from the University of Maryland, USA, reported two new Cas12a enzymes, Ev1Cas12a and Hs1Cas12a, that are particularly efficient at editing plant genomes. These enzymes have been tested for gene editing in rice, tomato, and poplar plants and showed high accuracy and efficiency.

CRISPR-Cas12a is a powerful gene editing tool that is gaining popularity among scientists. Compared with Cas9, Cas12a has a unique ability to edit AT-rich genomic regions. The researchers explored 17 variations of Cas12a and searched for the ones with the best genome editing capabilities. Ev1Cas12a and Hs1Cas12a were found to have efficient multiplexed genome editing in rice and tomato. Furthermore, Hs1Cas12a exhibited greater tolerance to lower temperatures. Both also showed the best performance in editing poplar plants.

With the two Cas12a variants' performance in both plants, the researchers concluded they are promising tools for editing plants and other organisms.

Know more from Frontiers in Genome Editing.

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