We are developing nanotechnology tools to directly edit genes in intact plants, dramatically speeding up agricultural engineering.
Genome editing to improve plants would be much quicker and simpler with more effective delivery of the editing reagents. We will therefore develop technologies for efficient genetic modification of intact plants without the use of tissue culture. We will optimize editing reagents using quantitative assays in protoplasts. We will monitor substitutions of single nucleotide polymorphisms or introductions of longer sequences using ribonucleoproteins to edit a gene encoding a fluorescent reporter protein. In parallel, we will develop methods for the delivery of editing reagents into shoot apical meristems of germinating embryos, which will be accomplished using new nanotechnologies to carry the optimized genome editing reagents into germline cells of whole plants.
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