Gene Editing in Brassica napus for Basic Research And Trait Development

Greg Gocal, Cibus US LLC, San Diego, CA

Gene editing has been a developing field for more than two decades. In plants, gene editing tools such as oligonucleotide directed mutagenesis, nucleases (including zinc fingers, TALENs, CRISPR-Cas9), base editors and most recently PRIME editors have been deployed. They have been used both to interrogate basic processes and pathways as well as to enable the development of gene edited traits. After palm and soybean, canola (oilseed rape) is the third largest source of vegetable oil globally. Canola (Brassica napus L.) has resulted from a series of polyploidization events occurring throughout its history. Due to its relatively short domestication history of about 2500 years, diversity is relatively limited. An increasing number of loci in this crop’s genome have been gene-edited using various technologies and reagent delivery methods for basic research as well as for trait development. New alleles have been developed as edits in single, 2, 4, or more homologous loci. This review summarizes new alleles that have been developed for weed control, flowering, self-incompatibility, plant hormone biology, disease resistance, grain composition, and pod shatter reduction. Ultimately gene editing tools accelerate breeding because they produce new alleles that are more precise and directed than conventional breeding which produces new variation randomly.

Greg F. W. Gocal. Gene editing in Brassica napus for basic research and trait development. In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology – Plant, 57(4):731-48, 2021.

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