Researchers from the Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology, University of the Punjab, used CRISPR-Cas9 to knockdown vacuolar invertase (VInv) gene, which resulted to reduced cold-storage sugar formation and sweetening in potatoes. The findings are published in Planta.
CRISPR-Cas9-mediated knockdown of VInv gene was carried out using two sgRNAs in local cultivar of potato plants. The mRNA expression of VInv gene was reduced 90–99-fold in edited potato plants, in comparison with the non-edited potato plant. Chips analysis after cold storage led the researchers to the best potato lines. A five-fold reduction in the percentage of reducing sugars in tubers was found in one of the best lines, compared to the control. Physiological characteristics of the genome-edited potatoes were comparable with their conventional counterpart.
The results of this study is the first reported knockdown of VInv gene in Pakistan addressing cold-induced sweetening which led to minimal production of reducing sugars in genome edited tubers.