Highly efficient and genotype-independent barley gene editing based on another culture

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Plant Communications




Agrobacterium, CRISPR, genetic transformation, Hordeum vulgare, off-target, targeted mutation


Agronomy and Crop Sciences | Plant Breeding and Genetics


Recalcitrance to tissue culture and genetic transformation is the major bottleneck for gene manipulation in crops. In barley, immature embryos of Golden Promise have typically been used as explants for transformation. However, the genotype dependence of this approach limits the genetic modification of commercial varieties. Here, we developed an anther culture-based system that permits the effective creation of transgenic and gene-edited plants from commercial barley varieties. The protocol was tested in Golden Promise and four Australian varieties, which differed in phenology, callus induction, and green plant regeneration responses. Agrobacterium-mediated transformation was performed on microspore-derived callus to target the HvPDS gene, and T0 albinos with targeted mutations were successfully obtained from commercial varieties. Further editing of three targets was achieved with an average mutation rate of 53% in the five varieties. In 51 analyzed T0 individuals, Cas9 induced a large proportion (69%) of single-base indels and two-base deletions in the target sites, with variable mutation rates among targets and varieties. Both on-target and off-target activities were detected in T1 progenies. Compared with immature embryo protocols, this genotype-independent platform can deliver a high editing efficiency and more regenerant plants within a similar time frame. It shows promise for functional genomics and the application of CRISPR technologies for the precise improvement of commercial varieties.



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