Parthenocarpy in horticultural crop plants is an important trait with
agricultural value for various industrial purposes as well as direct eating
quality. The team of Risa Ueta from Tokushima University in Japan introduced
a breeding strategy to generate parthenocarpic tomato plants using the
The team used the CRISPR-Cas9 system to introduce mutations effectively into
SlIAA9, a key gene controlling parthenocarpy. The team achieved mutation
rates of up to 100% in the T0 generation. Further analysis revealed that no
off-target mutations were induced in the host genome. The regenerated
mutants exhibited morphological changes in leaf shape as well as a seedless
fruit, the characteristic of parthenocarpic tomato. The segregated next
generation (T1) also showed phenotype associated with the mutated genome.
The system in this study could be used to produce parthenocarpy in a wide
variety of tomato cultivars, as well as in other major horticultural crops.