Scientists increased gene activity for the first time using the “Nobel” technology CRISPR 20:51

Scientists from the United States used the CRISPR/Cas9 tool for the first time to increase the activity of genes in food crops (they were awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize for creating this tool). Previously, this DNA editing technology had been used only to suppress gene activity, the study authors note in the journal. Science Advances (Science Adv).

Typically, genetic modification of plants involves using foreign genes to change the characteristics of an organism. In the new study, scientists took a different approach: They increased the activity of the PsbS gene, which is found in almost all plants. Rice, which is the source of at least 20% of the calories consumed by humanity, was chosen for the experiments.

The biologists did not change the sequence of the gene, but inverted (rotated) the section of DNA in front of it that is responsible for controlling PsbS activity. A 2018 study found that increasing PsbS activity can make a plant’s water use more efficient.

The increase in activity of the PsbS gene had almost no effect on the functioning of other DNA regions. This may mean that CRISPR/Cas9 technology is more accurate than traditional gene modification. However, only 1% of the plants scientists created had advanced features.

Russians before warned About the introduction of the bark beetle pest from the Far East.

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Source: Gazeta

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