Chinese researchers have used gene-editing technology to develop a new type of high-yielding rapeseed, according to the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS).
Plant height and branch number are essential components of rapeseed plant architecture and are directly correlated with its yield. Improvement of plant architecture is a major challenge in rapeseed breeding.
Researchers from the Oil Crops Research Institute of CAAS used CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing tool to knock out the gene called BnaMAX1s in rapeseed, which resulted in a rapeseed variety with reduced height, increased branch number and more siliques. The yield per plant increased by about 30 percent.
The research provides germplasm resources for the cultivation of high-yield varieties of rapeseed. The research was published online in the Plant Biotechnology Journal.