CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing in wheat
Genome editing has been a long-term challenge for molecular biology research, particularly for plants possess complex genome. The recently discovered Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) system is a versatile tool for genome editing which enables editing of multiple genes based on the guidance of small RNAs. Even though the efficiency of CRISPR/Cas9 system has been shown with several studies from diploid plants, its application remains a challenge for plants with polyploid and complex genome. Here, we applied CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing system in wheat protoplast to conduct the targeted editing of stress-responsive transcription factor genes, wheat dehydration responsive element binding protein 2 (TaDREB2) and wheat ethylene responsive factor 3 (TaERF3). Targeted genome editing of TaDREB2 and TaERF3 was achieved with transient expression of small guide RNA and Cas9 protein in wheat protoplast. The effectiveness of mutagenesis in wheat protoplast was confirmed with restriction enzyme digestion assay, T7 endonuclease assay, and sequencing. Furthermore, several off-target regions for designed sgRNAs were analyzed, and the specificity of genome editing was confirmed with amplicon sequencing. Overall results suggested that CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing system can easily be established on wheat protoplast and it has a huge potentiality for targeted manipulation of wheat genome for crop improvement purposes.
KeywordsWheat Genome editing CRISPR/Cas9 TaDREB2 TaERF3
The authors acknowledge Montana Wheat and Barley Committee Grant #MDA/MWBC CY5416-462 and Winifred-Asbjornson Plant Science Endowment. The authors also thank the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (IWGSC) for pre-publication access to the wheat genome RefSeq v1.0.
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