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Multiplex gene editing creates tomato cultivars with fruit colors

A research group led by Prof. Li Chuanyou from the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology (IGDB) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has developed a breeding strategy to generate tomato lines with different colored fruits from red-fruited materials by CRISPR/Cas9-mediated multiplex gene editing.

Using this strategy, the researchers have engineered the red-fruited cult, Alisa Craig, to a series of tomato genotypes with different fruit colors, including yellow, brown, pink, light-yellow, pink-brown, yellow-green, and light-green.

Tomato is a popular fruit/vegetable, and its color is considered a vital trait. The fruit color is determined by the accumulation of different pigments such as carotenoids and flavonoids etc. It is a multigenic trait that takes years to introgress all color-related genes in a single genetic background using traditional cross-breeding, and avoiding linkage drag during this process is also difficult.

Using their developed approach, transgene-free plants with different fruit colors can be obtained in less than one year, and the most positive point is that it can retain the qualities of the original cultivar and does not affect other important agronomic traits.

Read the complete article at

Tianxia Yang et al., Recoloring tomato fruit by CRISPR/Cas9-mediated multiplex gene editing, Horticulture Research (2022). DOI: 10.1093/hr/uhac214 

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