High‐efficiency CRISPR/Cas‐based editing of Phalaenopsis orchid MADS genes

Phalaenopsis orchids are popular potted ornamental plants around the world due to their beauty, floral diversity, and long indoor blooming period. Orchids are also important in plant research, having tiny, dust‐like seeds, crassulacean acid metabolism photosynthesis, complex deletion of the genes encoding NADH dehydrogenase subunits, and mycorrhizal symbiosis.

Previously, researchers investigated the orchid MADS gene family, which encodes DNA-binding proteins that are highly expressed in floral organs and may be important for flower initiation and development. The Phalaenopsis MADS gene family includes more than 50 members. As it is challenging to obtain different combinations of mutants in perennial plants such as Phalaenopsis using traditional crosses, there is great interest in developing alternative techniques for gene family studies. Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats/CRISPR-associated endonuclease (CRISPR/Cas) genome editing provides a convenient tool to obtain null and multiple mutants in non-model organisms, may prove useful for breeding and plant research.

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