Background: Precision plant genome engineering holds much promise for targeted improvement of crop traits via unprecedented single-base level control over the genetic material. Strigolactones (SLs) are a key determinant of plant architecture, known for their role in inhibiting shoot branching (tillering). Results: We used CRISPR/Cas9 in rice (Oryza sativa) for targeted disruption of CAROTENOID CLEAVAGE DIOXYGENASE 7 (CCD7), which controls a key step in SL biosynthesis. The ccd7 mutants exhibited a striking increase in tillering, combined with a reduced height, which could be rescued by application of the synthetic SL analog GR24. Striga germination assays and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis showed that root exudates of ccd7 mutants were also SL deficient. Conclusions: Taken together, our results show the potential and feasibility of the use of the CRISPR/Cas9 system for targeted engineering of plant architecture and for elucidating the molecular underpinnings of architecture-related traits.
- Carotenoid cleavage dioxygenases
- Crop improvement
- Genome editing
- Plant architecture
- Rice engineering
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Plant Science
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