In rice, amylose content (AC) is controlled by a single dominant Waxy gene. We used Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated 9 (Cas9) to introduce a loss-of-function mutation into the Waxy gene in two widely cultivated elite japonica varieties. Our results show that mutations in the Waxy gene reduce AC and convert the rice into glutinous ones without affecting other desirable agronomic traits, offering an effective and easy strategy to improve glutinosity in elite varieties. Importantly, we successfully removed the transgenes from the progeny. Our study provides an example of generating improved crops with potential for commercialization, by editing a gene of interest directly in elite crop varieties.
© 2017 Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences.