The CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology has revolutionized agricultural research. With CRISPR-Cas9, precise changes can be made to a genome in a relatively simple manner. Methods to knock out genes using CRISPR-Cas9 at high efficiency have been established for a large variety of plant species. However, using CRISPR-Cas9 to insert DNA fragments at a designated genomic target remains challenging. The Ronald Lab and collaborators are working on a project sponsored by the Innovative Genomics Institute to develop a CRISPR-Cas9-based method for targeted gene insertion in rice.

Diagram showing CRISPR-CA9 in action
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Marker-free carotenoid-enriched rice generated through targeted gene insertion using CRISPR-Cas9