Rapid generation of a transgene-free powdery mildew resistant tomato by genome deletion

Sci Rep. 2017 Mar 28;7(1):482. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-00578-x.


Genome editing has emerged as a technology with a potential to revolutionize plant breeding. In this study, we report on generating, in less than ten months, Tomelo, a non-transgenic tomato variety resistant to the powdery mildew fungal pathogen using the CRISPR/Cas9 technology. We used whole-genome sequencing to show that Tomelo does not carry any foreign DNA sequences but only carries a deletion that is indistinguishable from naturally occurring mutations. We also present evidence for CRISPR/Cas9 being a highly precise tool, as we did not detect off-target mutations in Tomelo. Using our pipeline, mutations can be readily introduced into elite or locally adapted tomato varieties in less than a year with relatively minimal effort and investment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • CRISPR-Cas Systems
  • Disease Resistance / genetics*
  • Gene Editing
  • Gene Targeting
  • Genome, Plant*
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / genetics*
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / microbiology*
  • Mutation
  • Phenotype
  • Plant Diseases / genetics*
  • Plant Diseases / microbiology*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Sequence Deletion*
  • Transgenes*