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Editing dicots without tissue culture

Plant gene editing through de novo induction of meristems

Developmental regulators are used to reprogram edited dicot plant cells into meristematic cells that grow into plants without tissue culture.

Abstract: Plant gene editing is typically performed by delivering reagents such as Cas9 and single guide RNAs to explants in culture. Edited cells are then induced to differentiate into whole plants by exposure to various hormones. The creation of edited plants through tissue culture is often inefficient, time-consuming, works for only limited species and genotypes, and causes unintended changes to the genome and epigenome. Here we report two methods to generate gene-edited dicotyledonous plants through de novo meristem induction. Developmental regulators and gene-editing reagents are delivered to somatic cells of whole plants. This induces meristems that produce shoots with targeted DNA modifications, and gene edits are transmitted to the next generation. The de novo induction of gene-edited meristems sidesteps the need for tissue culture and promises to overcome a bottleneck in plant gene editing.

Nature Biotechnology volume 38pages84–89(2020)

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