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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Genetic Improvement for Fruits & Vegetables Laboratory » Research » Research Project #443001

Research Project: Developing Gene Silencing and Gene Editing Techniques for Cranberry

Location: Genetic Improvement for Fruits & Vegetables Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-21000-023-012-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2022
End Date: Aug 31, 2024

Research at ARS has developed solid genomic resources for cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) including a reference quality genome assembly, genetic maps, genotyping and phenotyping protocols, etc. Currently lacking are methods to test and verify the function(s) of candidate genes associated with traits of interest. This issue will be addressed through two different objectives: 1. Development of an effective virus-induced gene silencing (VIGs) system for cranberry 2. Development of a CRISPR-Cas9 system for gene editing in cranberry

1. A VIGs vector will be developed from blueberry scorch virus (BBScV) that is designed to deliver RNAi for gene silencing in cranberry. The vector will contain the RNA polymerase and coat protein coding genes from BBScV as well as a cloning site for inserting gene targets sequences. 2. ARS will construct our own CRISPR-editing vector that consists the following components: PAtU6::gRNA//PAtUbi::Cas9/TAtUbi. ARS will use the gRNA/Cas9 cassettes in the cloning vector pGEM3Z as a transient CRISPR-gene editing vector. We will use the gRNA/Cas9 cassettes in the plant transformation/expression vector pCAMBIA1300 as an integrating CRISPR-gene editing vector.