The CRISPR-Cas9-based multiplex gene editing (MGE) can be a powerful method
to modify multiple genomic regions simultaneously and control different
agronomic traits in crops. In this study, the research team led by Wang Wei
from Kansas State University aimed to apply MGE on wheat. The team targeted
the TaGW2, TaLpx-1, and TaMLO genes of hexaploid wheat.
The knockout mutations generated in all three copies of TaGW2 resulted in an
increase in seed size and thousand grain weight. The team also found that
the non-modified targets in early generation plants can still be edited
using the same CRISPR-Cas9 construct in the following T generations.
These results demonstrate that transgenerational gene editing can facilitate
multiplex gene editing in wheat and can also serve as the source of
variation in CRISPR-edited plants.