Chinese experts develop fragrant sorghum using CRISPR

Experts from the Chinese Academy of Sciences reported the successful development of fragrant cultivated sorghum using CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology. Their findings are published as a breakthrough report in the Journal of Integrative Plant Biology.

Sorghum is the fifth largest crop with high economical value because it is used as a staple food and raw material for beer and vinegar brewing. It is also used as a silage source due to its high biomass and quality. However, no fragrant varieties of sorghums are currently available. Thus, the researchers used CRISPR-Cas9 to knockout the gene (SbBADH2) responsible for regulating aroma in sorghum. This led to plants with fragrant seeds and leaves.

The leaves were dried and powdered then fed to rabbits. The rabbits exhibited attraction to the fragrant sorghum feed, which implies its potential to impact animal husbandry among other applications.

Zhang et al. 2022 Creation of fragrant sorghum by CRISPR/Cas9.  Journal of Integrative Plant Biology.

Source: Crop Biotech Update

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