Rapid improvement of domestication traits in an orphan crop by genome editing

Nat Plants. 2018 Oct;4(10):766-770. doi: 10.1038/s41477-018-0259-x. Epub 2018 Oct 1.


Genome editing holds great promise for increasing crop productivity, and there is particular interest in advancing breeding in orphan crops, which are often burdened by undesirable characteristics resembling wild relatives. We developed genomic resources and efficient transformation in the orphan Solanaceae crop 'groundcherry' (Physalis pruinosa) and used clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-CRISPR-associated protein-9 nuclease (Cas9) (CRISPR-Cas9) to mutate orthologues of tomato domestication and improvement genes that control plant architecture, flower production and fruit size, thereby improving these major productivity traits. Thus, translating knowledge from model crops enables rapid creation of targeted allelic diversity and novel breeding germplasm in distantly related orphan crops.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • CRISPR-Associated Protein 9
  • CRISPR-Cas Systems
  • Crop Production / methods*
  • Domestication*
  • Gene Editing / methods*
  • Physalis / genetics*
  • Physalis / growth & development
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Solanum lycopersicum / genetics


  • CRISPR-Associated Protein 9