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PLoS One. 2014 Apr 7;9(4):e93806. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0093806. eCollection 2014.

Targeted genome editing of sweet orange using Cas9/sgRNA.

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Citrus Research and Education Center, Department of Microbiology and Cell Science, University of Florida, Lake Alfred, Florida, United States of America.


Genetic modification, including plant breeding, has been widely used to improve crop yield and quality, as well as to increase disease resistance. Targeted genome engineering is expected to contribute significantly to future varietal improvement, and genome editing technologies using zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs), transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs), and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)/Cas9/single guide RNA (sgRNA) have already been successfully used to genetically modify plants. However, to date, there has been no reported use of any of the current genome editing approaches in sweet orange, an important fruit crop. In this study, we first developed a novel tool, Xcc-facilitated agroinfiltration, for enhancing transient protein expression in sweet orange leaves. We then successfully employed Xcc-facilitated agroinfiltration to deliver Cas9, along with a synthetic sgRNA targeting the CsPDS gene, into sweet orange. DNA sequencing confirmed that the CsPDS gene was mutated at the target site in treated sweet orange leaves. The mutation rate using the Cas9/sgRNA system was approximately 3.2 to 3.9%. Off-target mutagenesis was not detected for CsPDS-related DNA sequences in our study. This is the first report of targeted genome modification in citrus using the Cas9/sgRNA system-a system that holds significant promise for the study of citrus gene function and for targeted genetic modification.

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