Rapid generation of a transgene-free powdery mildew resistant tomato by genome deletion

Vladimir Nekrasov, Congmao Wang, Joe Win, Christa Lanz, Detlef Weigel, Sophien Kamoun

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Genome editing has emerged as a technology with a potential to revolutionize plant breeding. In this study, we report on generating, in less than ten months, Tomelo, a non-transgenic tomato variety resistant to the powdery mildew fungal pathogen using the CRISPR/Cas9 technology. We used whole-genome sequencing to show that Tomelo does not carry any foreign DNA sequences but only carries a deletion that is indistinguishable from naturally occurring mutations. We also present evidence for CRISPR/Cas9 being a highly precise tool, as we did not detect off-target mutations in Tomelo. Using our pipeline, mutations can be readily introduced into elite or locally adapted tomato varieties in less than a year with relatively minimal effort and investment.
Original languageEnglish
Article number482
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2017

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