Improving gene editing efficiency in wheat

30 Nov 2020

Research by the NIAB Crop Transformation team has shown how gene editing efficiency in wheat can be significantly improved just by tweaking the temperature.

Part of the BBSRC-funded 'A community resource for wheat and rice transformation' project the discovery will benefit wheat researchers and breeders using CRISPR/Cas9 techniques. The research has been published in ‘Frontiers in Plant Science - Plant Biotechnology’ in the paper titled ‘Turning up the temperature on CRISPR: increased temperature can improve the editing efficiency of wheat using CRISPR/Cas9’.

NIAB’s Dr Emma Wallington says: “The editing efficiency can be significantly increased in a hexaploid wheat with a simple change in growth conditions to identify homozygous or null knock-outs. This can be applied to the tissue culture  or at the seed germination and early growth phase to increase the frequency of editing when the Cas9 enzyme is driven by the ZmUbi promoter.”