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CRISPR/Cas9-Mediated Multiply Targeted Mutagenesis in Orange and Purple Carrot Plants

Xu, Zhi-Sheng, Feng, Kai, Xiong, Ai-Sheng
Molecular biotechnology 2019 v.61 no.3 pp. 191-199
albino, carrots, gene editing, genes, genetic transformation, heterozygosity, mutagenesis, plantlets
The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-associated protein 9 (Cas9) system has been successfully used for precise genome editing in many plant species, including in carrot cells, very recently. However, no stable gene-editing carrot plants were obtained with CRISPR/Cas9 system to date. In the present study, four sgRNA expression cassettes, individually driven by four different promoters and assembled in a single CRISPR/Cas9 vector, were transformed into carrots using Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation. Four sites of DcPDS and DcMYB113-like genes were chosen as targets. Knockout of DcPDS in orange carrot ‘Kurodagosun’ resulted in the generation of albino carrot plantlets, with about 35.3% editing efficiency. DcMYB113-like was also successfully edited in purple carrot ‘Deep purple’, resulting in purple depigmented carrot plants, with about 36.4% rate of mutation. Sequencing analyses showed that insertion, deletion, and substitution occurred in the target sites, generating heterozygous, biallelic, and chimeric mutations. The highest efficiency of mutagenesis was observed in the sites targeted by AtU6-29-driven sgRNAs in both DcPDS- and DcMYB113-like-knockout T₀ plants, which always induced double-strand breaks in the target sites. Our results proved that CRISPR/Cas9 system could be for generating stable gene-editing carrot plants.