Creating designer plants using CRISPR technology - a non GMO approach

Lead Research Organisation: University of Warwick
Department Name: School of Life Sciences


For many years it has been possible to manipulate aspects of plant development through the creation of transgenic plants expressing exogenous genes, however it has always been a long-term goal to do this by altering endogenous genes without the need for transgenic plants. Recently technologies have been developed that now enable gene-editing of endogenous genes, such techniques include Zinc finger nucleases, TALENs, and the more recent CRISPR RNA gene editing system (Cong et al. 2013, de Souza 2013). This project will investigate the possibility of using the CRISPR system, to alter the sequences of genes involved in the control of flowering in order to manipulate the flowering time of crop plants.
The group have a virus-based expression system which they have already used successfully to express functional proteins in tobacco plants (Li et al. 2009). This project will test whether this expression system can be used to deliver the gene-editing proteins/RNA into plant cells and to create gene-edited plants. Other approaches that have already been published such as expression in plant protoplasts followed by regeneration of gene-edited plants will also be tested. In this project, we will target genes involved in controlling flowering time in crop plants such as FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) and FLC. If such approaches are successful then this will revolutionize the way in which genetically modified plants are produced, enabling them to be produced without the need to incorporate any foreign DNA into their genome.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M01116X/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
2097260 Studentship BB/M01116X/1 01/10/2018 11/02/2020 Rebecca Davis