2023 Volume 40 Issue 3 Pages 237-245
Genome editing is a promising method for simultaneously mutagenizing homoeologs in the three subgenomes of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). However, the mutation rate via genome editing must be improved in order to analyze gene function and to quickly modify agronomic traits in wheat. Here, we examined the Cas9-induced mutation rates in wheat plants using two promoters for single guide RNA (sgRNA) expression and applying heat treatment during Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation. Using the TaU6 promoter instead of the OsU6 promoter from rice (Oryza sativa L.) to drive sgRNA expression greatly improved the Cas9-induced mutation rate. Moreover, a heat treatment of 30°C for 1 day during tissue culture increased the Cas9-induced mutation rate and the variety of mutations obtained compared to tissue culture at the normal temperature (25°C). The same heat treatment did not affect the regeneration rates of transgenic plants but tended to increase the number of transgene integration sites in each transgenic plant. These results lay the foundation for improving the Cas9-induced mutation rate in wheat to enhance research on gene function and crop improvement.