Crop Biotech Update

Researchers Pinpoint Efficient Marker for Gene Editing Rice

January 17, 2024

Scientists use tools like TALENs, CRISPR, and prime editing to modify plant genes. Traditionally, the gene coding for the editing enzyme, the guide RNA, and selectable markers are introduced into the DNA during plant transformation. However, these markers take up space, limiting the effective number of TALENs or guide RNAs, and could also silence other genes.

Researchers from the University of Missouri, Columbia, and partners introduced a new approach that uses a different marker based on a gene that makes plants resistant to a toxin. They tested three related genes in rice and found OsLAT5 to be an efficient marker in rice. This approach saves space and avoids silencing issues. It also allows successful tracking of edits by simply checking for toxin resistance.

Read more about the study in BioRxiv.