CRISPR/Cas9-mediated mutagenesis of phytoene desaturase in diploid and octoploid strawberry

Fiona M. Wilson*, Kate Harrison, Andrew D. Armitage, Andrew J. Simkin, Richard J. Harrison

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Gene editing using CRISPR/Cas9 is a simple and powerful tool for elucidating genetic controls and for crop improvement and its use has been reported in a growing number of important food crops, including recently Fragaria. In order to inform application of the technology in Fragaria, we targeted the visible endogenous marker gene PDS (phytoene desaturase) in diploid Fragaria vesca ssp. vesca 'Hawaii 4' and octoploid F. × ananassa 'Calypso'. Results: Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of leaf and petiole explants was used for efficient stable integration of constructs expressing plant codon-optimised Cas9 and single guide sequences under control of the Arabidopsis U6-26 consensus promoter and terminator or Fragaria vesca U6III regulatory sequences. More than 80% ('Hawaii 4') and 50% ('Calypso') putative transgenic shoot lines (multiple shoots derived from a single callus) exhibited mutant phenotypes. Of mutant shoot lines selected for molecular analysis, approximately 75% ('Hawaii 4') and 55% ('Calypso') included albino regenerants with bi-allelic target sequence variants. Our results indicate the PDS gene is functionally diploid in 'Calypso'. Conclusion: We demonstrate that CRISPR/Cas9 may be used to generate biallelic mutants at high frequency within the genomes of diploid and octoploid strawberry. The methodology, observations and comprehensive data set presented will facilitate routine application of this technology in Fragaria to single and multiple gene copy targets where mutant phenotypes cannot be identified visually.

Original languageEnglish
Article number45
JournalPlant Methods
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • CRISPR/Cas9
  • Diploid
  • Fragaria
  • Phytoene desaturase
  • Polyploid
  • Strawberry


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