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Abstract Detail

Applications of CRISPR technology across the plant tree of life

Van Eck, Joyce [1], Van Eck, Joyce [1].

Exploring Insect Interactions in Physalis Using CRISPR Generated Mutant Lines.

My group has been involved in several projects with members of the Physalis genus for the past several years. The Physalis genus, which belongs to the Solanaceae family, is native to South America and contains roughly 90 species. They are distinguished by the inflated calyx that surrounds the fruit during development. We are primarily working with Physalis peruviana (goldenberry) and P. grisea (groundcherry). Our work combines fundamental research with a community science program. For the fundamental research, we are deciphering the genetic control responsible for traits such as plant growth habit, fruit characteristics (size, shape, color), and fruit abscission. We are using CRISPR/Cas-mediated gene editing to help with this deciphering. In addition, we are also looking at metabolite profiles (leaves, husks, fruit) and how they relate to insect interactions. Currently, we are focused on how withanolides, which are a class of steroidal lactones structurally similar to cholesterol, affect insect interactions in the Physalis. We are specifically interested in two pests, Lema daturaphila (three-lined potato beetle) and Chloridea subflexa, which damages the fruit and is a specialist on Physalis. We are using CRISPR/Cas9 to target genes for selected enzymes in the withanolide biosynthesis pathway to knockout expression to create loss-of-function mutations. These mutants are being used to tease apart the specific withanolides responsible for the insect interactions we and our community scientists have observed in goldenberry and groundcherry. To date, we have performed bioassays with L. daturaphila on leaves from wild-type (WT) groundcherry plants and mutant lines created by targeting the enzyme sterol ∆24-isomerase (24ISO), one of the first committed steps in the biosynthesis of withanolides. Preliminary bioassay results showed significantly more damage by adults feeding on the leaves from the 24ISO mutant lines than from the WT. Additional evaluation of the insect interactions is in progress and results from the bioassays with the 24ISO mutant lines will be presented.

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1 - Boyce Thompson Institute, 533 Tower Road, The Boyce Thompson Institute, Ithaca, NY, 14853, United States


Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Session: SY6, Applications of CRISPR technology across the plant tree of life
Location: /
Date: Friday, July 23rd, 2021
Time: 10:45 AM(EDT)
Number: SY6003
Abstract ID:234
Candidate for Awards:None

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