Publication Date





Fruit trees and other fruiting hardwood perennials are economically valuable, and there is interest in developing improved varieties. Both conventional breeding and biotechnology approaches are being utilized towards the goal of developing advanced cultivars. Increased knowledge of the effectiveness and efficiency of biotechnology approaches can help guide use of the CRISPR gene-editing technology. Here, we examined CRISPR-Cas9-directed genome editing in the valuable commodity fruit tree Malus x domestica (domestic apple). We transformed two cultivars with dual CRISPR-Cas9 constructs designed to target two AGAMOUS-like genes simultaneously. The main goal was to determine the effectiveness of this approach for achieving target gene changes. We obtained 6 Cas9 control and 38 independent CRISPR-Cas9 events. Of the 38 CRISPR-Cas9 events, 34 (89%) had gene edits and 14 (37%) showed changes to all alleles of both target genes. The most common change was large deletions, which were present in 59% of all changed alleles, followed by small deletions (21%), small insertions (12%), and a combination of small insertions and deletions (8%). Overall, a high rate of successful gene alterations was found. Many of these changes are predicted to cause frameshifts and alterations to the predicted peptides. Future work will include monitoring the floral development and floral form.


CRISPR-Cas9, gene editing, AGAMOUS, MADS, domestic apple, biotechnology



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.