A Study Recently Developed New Methods That Will Make Gene-Edited Plants Produce Significantly Faster

A Study Recently Developed New Methods That Will Make Gene-Edited Plants Produce Significantly Faster

A University of Minnesota research group recently developed new methods that may make it significantly quicker to produce gene-edited plants. The researcher hopes to alleviate a long-standing bottleneck in gene editing and, within the process, making it simpler and faster to develop and test new crop varieties with two new approaches described in a paper recently revealed in Nature Biotechnology.

Regardless of dramatic advances in scientists’ capability to edit plant genomes utilizing gene-editing tools such as CRISPR and TALENs, researchers had been caught utilizing an antiquated method—tissue culture. That has been in use for decades and is expensive, labor-intensive, and requires exact work in a sterile environment. Researchers use tissue culture to deliver genes and gene editing reagents or chemicals that drive the response, to plants.

To eradicate the arduous work that goes into gene-editing by tissue culture, co-first authors Ryan Nasti and Michael Maher developed new strategies that leverage necessary plant development regulators responsible for plant development.

Utilizing growth regulators and gene editing reagents, researchers trigger seedlings to develop new shoots that include edited genes. Researchers collect seeds from gene-edited shoots and continue experiments. No cell cultures needed.

The researchers use the tobacco species as their model; however, they have already demonstrated the method works in grape, tomato, and potato plants. They believe the findings will probably transfer throughout many species. Plant geneticists and agricultural biotechnologists aim to make sure stable food sources for the growing global population in a very warming climate, where pest outbreaks and excessive climate events are commonplace. These new methods will enable them to work more effectively.