Rice in South-East Asia and West Africa is often infected with leptolutdisease, a well-studied crop disease whose pathogen is called Xoo, which represents Xanthomonas oryzae pathovar oryzae, whose survival depends on the many genes that export sugar from the abducted rice.
Now scientists have found a way to edit rice’s genome to stop such hijackings. The study was published in the journal Nature Biotechnology.
Xoo’s TALes molecule binds DNA near the rice SWEET gene, which researchers believe could be modified to resist Xoo.
They used CRISPR to edit dna near three SWEET genes, mainly for DNA sequences inserted by TALe. The results showed that genetically engineered rice was resistant to all known Xoo strains.