CRISPR-Mediated Modification of TaEDR1 Homologs Enhances Powdery Mildew Resistance in Wheat
Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) suffers significant yield losses due to powdery
mildew, a major fungal disease caused by Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici
(Bgt). The enhanced disease resistance1 (EDR1) gene plays a negative role in
the defense response against powdery mildew in Arabidopsis thaliana, making
EDR1 a target for improving resistance to powdery mildew.
The team of Yunwei Zhang from the Chinese Academy of Sciences cloned the
TaEDR1 from hexaploid wheat and found it highly similar to the EDR1 of
Arabidopsis. Knockout of TaEDR1 by gene silencing or RNA interference
enhanced resistance to powdery mildew, proving that TaEDR1 negatively
regulates powdery mildew resistance. The team then used CRISPR-Cas9 to
generate Taedr1 mutant wheat plants by simultaneously knocking out the three
homoeologs of EDR1. The developed Taedr1 plants were resistant to powdery
This study exhibits the successful generation of a potentially valuable
trait using genome-editing technology in wheat and provides new germplasm
for disease resistance breeding.