Scientists from Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and partners used
CRISPR-Cas9 to find out about the responsive regulation of inorganic
pyrophosphatase in rice under alkaline stress. The results are published in
Frontiers in Plant Science.
Alkaline stress is one of the abiotic factors that affect plant growth and
development. Inorganic pyrophosphatase is an enzyme used in various
biological processes linked to abiotic stress response. Thus, researchers
used the CRISPR-Cas9 system for the mutagenesis of the OsPPa6 gene, which
codes for an inorganic pyrophosphatase in rice. Two similar Cas9-free
mutants were obtained which exhibited delayed growth and development,
particularly under alkaline stress. Tests also showed that mutagenesis of
OSPPa6 was significantly induced by alkaline stress. Furthermore, results
indicated that pyphosphate contents in the mutants were higher than those in
the wild type when under alkaline stress,but the buildup of inorganic
phosphate, ATP, chlorophyll, sucrose, and starch in the mutants were
significantly reduced. Mutagenesis of OsPPa6 lowered the rate of
photosynthesis in rice mutants.
Based on the findings, it was concluded that OSPPa6 gene is a vital osmotic
regulatory factor in rice and CRISPR-Cas9 is an effective tool in assessing
the responsive regulation of stress-induced gene.