Genome editing, especially the CRISPR/Cas9 technology, holds immense promise in enhancing plant traits, primarily disease resistance, offering a more efficient alternative to traditional breeding. The turnip mosaic virus (TuMV), a type of potyvirus, severely threatens Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa) crops. Existing research suggests that the eukaryotic translation initiation factor (eIF) genes, such as eIF(iso)4E, play a pivotal role in TuMV resistance in Arabidopsis. It was proposed that the eIF(iso)4E gene, which was later reported to be tightly associated with the Brassica recessive resistance genes, could be a suitable target for the genome editing of TuMV resistance in Brassica species. Given the demonstrated success of CRISPR/Cas9 in creating resistance against various viruses by editing eIFgenes in different plants, the potential for targeting the eIF(iso)4E gene to develop TuMV-resistant Brassica species stands as a compelling avenue for further research.
In April 2023, Horticulture Research published a research paper titled “CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing to confer turnip mosaic virus (TuMV) resistance in Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa) ”.
In this study, researchers employed the CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technique on the Chinese cabbage, specifically the B. rapa cultivar “Seoul,” with the goal of developing plants resistant to the turnip mosaic virus (TuMV). This was accomplished by inserting the CRISPR/Cas9 constructs into the cabbage, followed by shoot culturing, root formation, and PCR analysis. Of the plants regenerated, 86.7% displayed the desired Cas9 transgenes. However, only one of the three sgRNAs targeting three eIF(iso)4E genes showed significant editing efficiency.
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