Recent progress in genome editing methods has opened new avenues for reverse
genetics studies in plants. One of these is the CRISPR-Cas9 system, which
has been used to induce targeted mutations in a variety of organisms.
A Hankyong National University research team described a targeted
mutagenesis using Agrobacterium-delivered CRISPR-Cas9 in tomato. This new
system uses an Agrobacterium vector and three guide RNAs for single gene
targeting. The team, which was led by Yu Jin Jung, evaluated the system for
its mutagenesis frequency and heritability by testing it on the LeMADS-RIN
gene of tomato.
Individual events carrying mutations in the LeMADS-RIN gene occurred in
10.6% of the transformed tomato genotypes. Compared with wildtype plants,
the edited mutants exhibited more incompletely-ripening fruits and lower
ethylene contents. Analysis also revealed that the desired mutant alleles
are inheritable and could be retrieved in the succeeding generations.