Plant Cell Reports

, Volume 37, Issue 9, pp 1353–1356 | Cite as

Engineering herbicide-resistant watermelon variety through CRISPR/Cas9-mediated base-editing

  • Shouwei Tian
  • Linjian Jiang
  • Xiaxia Cui
  • Jie Zhang
  • Shaogui Guo
  • Maoying Li
  • Haiying Zhang
  • Yi Ren
  • Guoyi Gong
  • Mei Zong
  • Fan Liu
  • Qijun Chen
  • Yong Xu
Focus Article

Planted to two million ha farmland and yielding more than 70 million tons per year, watermelon dominates the fruit market in China. However, with a low planting density and short canopy, field watermelon is severely threatened by weeds. Currently, only five herbicides, providing poor or no control on broadleaved weeds, are registered for watermelon weed control in China; therefore, technical solutions for broadleaved weed control are greatly needed by watermelon growers (Grey et al. 2000). Although this issue could be well addressed by developing herbicide-resistant watermelon, no such varieties were commercialized, largely due to the difficulties to generate herbicide-resistant watermelon germplasm via traditional breeding.

Precise genome editing technologies, especially CRISPR/Cas9, offer revolutionary solutions to create herbicide-resistant germplasm. By integrating a DNA template that contains herbicide-resistant mutations into the DNA double strand break (DSB) caused by...


Base-editing Herbicide-resistant watermelon Transgene-free 



This work was supported by grants from the National Key R&D Program of China (2018YFD010062), Beijing science & technology program (D171100007617001), Beijing Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences (KJCX20180427), National Natural Science Foundation of China (31701943, 31471785), the Ministry of Agriculture of China (CARS-26), Beijing Scholar Program (BSP026), BaGui Scholar Program.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

A patent application related to the findings of this report was filed to the patent office in Beijing, and key authors of this report were listed as inventors.

Supplementary material

299_2018_2299_MOESM1_ESM.docx (928 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 928 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Biology and Genetic Improvement of Horticultural Crops (North China), Beijing Key Laboratory of Vegetable Germplasm ImprovementNational Engineering Research Center for Vegetables, Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Key Lab of Pest Monitoring and Green Management, MOA; Department of Plant Pathology, College of Plant ProtectionChina Agricultural UniversityBeijingChina
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, College of Biological SciencesChina Agricultural UniversityBeijingChina

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