Genome engineering in ornamental plants: Current status and

This is a 41 page pdf download. I do not know the cost as I am able to get it free.

Title: “Genome engineering in ornamental plants: Current status and future prospects”

Ornamental plants, like roses, carnations, and chrysanthemums, are economically important and are sold all over the world. In addition, numerous cut and garden flowers add colors to homes and gardens. Various strategies of plant breeding have been employed to improve traits of many ornamental plants. These approaches span from conventional techniques, such as crossbreeding and mutation breeding, to genetically modified plants. Recently, genome editing has become available as an efficient means for modifying traits in plant species. Genome editing technology is useful for genetic analysis and is poised to become a common breeding method for ornamental plants. In this review, we summarize the benefits and limitations of conventional breeding techniques and genome editing methods and discuss their future potential to accelerate the rate breeding programs in ornamental plants.”

$35.95 for 40 pp seems a bit high to me. I think I can get it on campus through our broader subscription as a university library.

Just reading the abbreviations list indicates much of the useful content. The gene I want to edit (and so does probably every breeder out there) is the one that determines whether a plant flowers more than once a year. We know that the gene most commonly found has an insertion that inactivates it in both chromosomal copies in a diploid background (and all 4 in a tetraploid). I can’t say for rugosas but for things descended from R chinensis it is for sure.

Thursday afternoon I heard a fantastic talk from one of our new assistant professors who is doing a systematic study of the CRISPR system in baker’s yeast. He has 15 undergraduates working for him to do all the work. They’ve published more than 4 papers in the past 2 years on the subject, in good journals. Eriana Basgal is first author of two of them. (I think that’s how she spells her name). She’s a sophomore and I’m her academic advisor. Their interest is to understand how to keep a gene from spreading through the entire population (called a gene drive) and to modulate the power of a gene drive. Just imagine if the conversion of roses to everblooming spread around the world. Fortunately there are different species involved so it wouldn’t actually do that. But for a particular species of mosquito or fruitfly, it ( a gene drive) could.

Sorry In mis-spelled the author’s name. It is Erianna Basgall. Emily Roggenkamp, another undergraduate, is first author of two papers. You can find all of them by searching their names, CRISPR, and Greg Finnegan (the faculty member).

I wonder what the limitations are with CRISPR technology. From what I could tell from a friend at the U of MN, people can use it freely for research, however, if there is a commercial application/product one has to work with the patent holders to be able to commercialize things. My friend suggested if a commercialized product is the plan, it is wise to get that agreement in place before one starts the work than after. I love your idea Larry to work with flowering genes. It would be really fun to have repeat blooming versions of our favorite one-time bloomers. I think there are some efforts underway for that by some groups.

I con’t say much because I don’t know much, but Greg Finnigan did work with Jennifer Doudna on CRISPR at Berkeley, so we can figure out the size and shape of the patent thicket before we actually get into it. As pointed out in the review that Henry posted, development costs for small market ornamentals are the major concern. Paying a reasonable royalty on a repeat-blooming species is not a deal-breaker. The bigger concern is whether the USDA will consider these to be GMO. Even if we can skip the GMO approval process, breeding and selection of desirable CV is a labor-intensive process

In evolutionary contexts this could have happened but did not. Nature favor once-blooming over repeat blooming. Would we not expect the same outcome at some point beyond gene drive exhaustion?

Anyway, I’m staking a claim to the Everblooming Borg trademark right now.

Just imagine if the conversion of roses to everblooming spread around the world.