Researchers have been using biolistics in delivering the genome editing complex in wheat due to difficulties in Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation in the species. However, scientists from Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences in China and colleagues overcome this limitation by successfully targeting three wheat genes using CRISPR-Cas9 delivered via Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation.
Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation is considered to be better than biolistic delivery because the latter produces single and more specific insertions of the genome editing complex in the genome and does not require expensive equipment. In the study, seven target sites in genes Pinb, waxy and DA1 were selected for gene editing. Results showed efficient gene editing in the target, with 54.17 percent mutation efficiency. Off-target mutations were not detected in the mutant plants. These results show the applicability of Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation in wheat genome editing and genetic improvement.
Zhang et al. 2018 Targeted mutagenesis using the Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated CRISPR-Cas9 system in common wheat. BMC Plant Biology 18:302. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12870-018-1496-x
Source: Crop Biotech Update