Blight-resistant rice created with CRISPR-Cas9

Scientists in a worldwide consortium genetically modified four varieties of rice (Oryza sativa): japonica Kitaake, indica IR24, indica IR64, indica Ciherang-Sub1. They targeted crop diseases caused by multiple strains of bacterium Xanthomonas oryzae.

Mechanism of infection was completely disrupted by changes near three genes: SWEET11, SWEET13, SWEET14. Their promoters were mutated with CRISPR-Cas9 and, in consequence, bacterium’s proteins could not bind to the rice genome. Lack of binding gave complete resistance to the most of X. oryzae strains.

Created GMO was only preliminary assessed on grounds of agronomic measurements. Authors note that:

Extensive field trials will be necessary to ensure performance of these edited resistant lines.

Along with genetic modifications, scientists developed diagnostic kit for rice blight resistance.

Main publication: Ricardo Oliva, Chonghui Ji, Genelou Atienza-Grande, José C. Huguet-Tapia, Alvaro Perez-Quintero, Ting Li, Joon-Seob Eom, Chenhao Li, Hanna Nguyen, Bo Liu, Florence Auguy, Coline Sciallano, Van T. Luu, Gerbert S. Dossa, Sébastien Cunnac, Sarah M. Schmidt, Inez H. Slamet-Loedin, Casiana Vera Cruz, Boris Szurek, Wolf B. Frommer, Frank F. White & Bing Yang (2019). Broad-spectrum resistance to bacterial blight in rice using genome editing. Doi:10.1038/s41587-019-0267-z.
Second publication: Joon-Seob Eom, Dangping Luo, Genelou Atienza-Grande, Jungil Yang, Chonghui Ji, Van Thi Luu, José C. Huguet-Tapia, Si Nian Char, Bo Liu, Hanna Nguyen, Sarah Maria Schmidt, Boris Szurek, Casiana Vera Cruz, Frank F. White, Ricardo Oliva, Bing Yang & Wolf B. Frommer (2019). Diagnostic kit for rice blight resistance. Doi:10.1038/s41587-019-0268-y.

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