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Abstract Detail

Applications of CRISPR technology across the plant tree of life

Varkonyi-Gasic, Erika [1].

CRISPR and better kiwifruit.

Annualization of woody perennials has the potential to revolutionize the breeding and production of fruit crops and rapidly improve horticultural species. Kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis) is a recently domesticated, temperate, dioecious woody perennial vine, with a short history of breeding and tremendous potential for improvement. We used CRISPR-Cas9 to target kiwifruit CENTRORADIALIS genes AcCEN4 and AcCEN. Mutation of these genes transformed this climbing woody perennial, which develops axillary inflorescences after many years of juvenility, into a compact plant with rapid terminal flower and fruit development. The number of affected genes and alleles and severity of detected mutations correlated with the precocity, change in plant stature and vegetative phenology. We are now using the rapid flowering kiwifruit to study sex determination and fruit development in this dioecious species. We used CRISPR-Cas9 to target the male-specific Shy Girl (SyGl) gene with homology to type-C cytokinin response regulators. Loss of SyGl gave rise to rapid flowering hermaphrodites with fully restored gynoecial function, providing functional evidence for the role of SyGl in suppression of feminization via regulation of cytokinin metabolism and signalling. The reduced generation time and induction of hermaphroditism using CRISPR-Cas9 can accelerate crop improvement in an outcrossing horticultural woody perennial and facilitate alternative farming for better food security in the face of climate change.

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1 - Plant and Food Research, New Cultivar Innovation, Private Bag 92169, 120 Mt Albert Road, Auckland, Auckland, 1142, New Zealand

flowering phenology
sex determination.

Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Session: SY6, Applications of CRISPR technology across the plant tree of life
Location: /
Date: Friday, July 23rd, 2021
Time: 1:30 PM(EDT)
Number: SY6009
Abstract ID:61
Candidate for Awards:None

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