Simultaneous editing of three homoeoalleles in hexaploid bread wheat confers heritable resistance to powdery mildew

Yanpeng Wang, Xi Cheng, Qiwei Shan, Yi Zhang, Jinxing Liu, Caixia Gao, Jin Long Qiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

840 Scopus citations

Abstract

Sequence-specific nucleases have been applied to engineer targeted modifications in polyploid genomes, but simultaneous modification of multiple homoeoalleles has not been reported. Here we use transcription activator-like effector nuclease (TALEN) and clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-Cas9 (refs. 4,5) technologies in hexaploid bread wheat to introduce targeted mutations in the three homoeoalleles that encode MILDEW-RESISTANCE LOCUS (MLO) proteins. Genetic redundancy has prevented evaluation of whether mutation of all three MLO alleles in bread wheat might confer resistance to powdery mildew, a trait not found in natural populations. We show that TALEN-induced mutation of all three TaMLO homoeologs in the same plant confers heritable broad-spectrum resistance to powdery mildew. We further use CRISPR-Cas9 technology to generate transgenic wheat plants that carry mutations in the TaMLO-A1 allele. We also demonstrate the feasibility of engineering targeted DNA insertion in bread wheat through nonhomologous end joining of the double-strand breaks caused by TALENs. Our findings provide a methodological framework to improve polyploid crops.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)947-951
Number of pages5
JournalNature biotechnology
Volume32
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014

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