It is known that cereals with high amylose and resistant starch content possess potential health beneficial properties. Important enzyme responsible for the branching of starch is the enzyme SBE (starch branching enzyme). A research team from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) with Dr. Yongwei Sun as the leading researcher, used the CRISPR/Cas9 technology to create rice with increased amylose content. In order to do this, the scientists conducted targeted mutagenesis in the SBEI and SBEIIb genes in rice. The resulting mutant lines showed that while there was no change observed for the SBEI mutants compared to the wild type, the SBEII mutant lines showed higher content of long chains in debranched amylopectin and significantly increased amylose and resistant starch content. The results demonstrating the possibilities for successful application of the CRISPR/Cas9 technology for development of rice with increased amylose content were recently published in Frontiers in Plant Sciences.
Sources: Crop Biotech Update, Frontiers in Plant Science