Efficient CRISPR/Cas9-based genome editing in carrot cells
The first report presenting successful and efficient carrot genome editing using CRISPR/Cas9 system.
Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated (Cas9) is a powerful genome editing tool that has been widely adopted in model organisms recently, but has not been used in carrot—a model species for in vitro culture studies and an important health-promoting crop grown worldwide. In this study, for the first time, we report application of the CRISPR/Cas9 system for efficient targeted mutagenesis of the carrot genome. Multiplexing CRISPR/Cas9 vectors expressing two single-guide RNA (gRNAs) targeting the carrot flavanone-3-hydroxylase (F3H) gene were tested for blockage of the anthocyanin biosynthesis in a model purple-colored callus using Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation. This approach allowed fast and visual comparison of three codon-optimized Cas9 genes and revealed that the most efficient one in generating F3H mutants was the Arabidopsis codon-optimized AteCas9 gene with up to 90% efficiency. Knockout of F3H gene resulted in the discoloration of calli, validating the functional role of this gene in the anthocyanin biosynthesis in carrot as well as providing a visual marker for screening successfully edited events. Most resulting mutations were small Indels, but long chromosome fragment deletions of 116–119 nt were also generated with simultaneous cleavage mediated by two gRNAs. The results demonstrate successful site-directed mutagenesis in carrot with CRISPR/Cas9 and the usefulness of a model callus culture to validate genome editing systems. Given that the carrot genome has been sequenced recently, our timely study sheds light on the promising application of genome editing tools for boosting basic and translational research in this important vegetable crop.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00299-018-2252-2