Crop Biotech Update

CRISPR-induced Mutations Lead to Soybean Cyst Nematode Resistance

November 29, 2023

Soybean farmers worldwide are losing billions of dollars each year to soybean cyst nematodes (SCNs), tiny worms that attack the roots of soybeans. Scientists from the University of Missouri and the University of Georgia have discovered a gene called GmSNAP02, which can protect soybeans from these pests. Their findings are published in Nature Communications.

SCNs are microscopic worms that live in the soil. They attack the roots of soybeans and suck out nutrients and water. This can cause the soybean plants to become stunted, yellow, and wilt. In severe cases, SCN infection can kill entire soybean plants. GmSNAP02 prevents SCN from infecting soybean plants through CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing, wherein loss-of-function mutations occur, implicating GmSNAP02 as a nematode virulence target.

The study results could lead to increased soybean yields, reduced pesticide use, and more sustainable soybean production practices.

Know more findings in Nature Communications.

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