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Method|19 Dec 2023|OPEN
RNA virus-mediated gene editing for tomato trait breeding
Mireia Uranga1,2 , Verónica Aragonés1 , Arcadio García1 , Sophie Mirabel1 , Silvia Gianoglio1 , Silvia Presa1 , Antonio Granell1 and Fabio Pasin1 , , José-Antonio Daròs,1 ,
1Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Plantas (IBMCP), Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas-Universitat Politècnica de València (CSIC-UPV), Avenida de los Naranjos s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain
2Present address: KU Leuven Plant Institute (LPI) and Laboratory for Plant Genetics and Crop Improvement, Division of Crop Biotechnics, Department of Biosystems, KU Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 31, 3001 Heverlee, Belgium
*Corresponding author. E-mail:,

Horticulture Research 11,
Article number: uhad279 (2024)
Views: 48

Received: 20 Sep 2023
Accepted: 10 Dec 2023
Published online: 19 Dec 2023


Virus-induced genome editing (VIGE) leverages viral vectors to deliver CRISPR-Cas components into plants for robust and flexible trait engineering. We describe here a VIGE approach applying an RNA viral vector based on potato virus X (PVX) for genome editing of tomato, a mayor horticultural crop. Viral delivery of single-guide RNA into Cas9-expressing lines resulted in efficient somatic editing with indel frequencies up to 58%. By proof-of-concept VIGE of PHYTOENE DESATURASE (PDS) and plant regeneration from edited somatic tissue, we recovered loss-of-function pds mutant progeny displaying an albino phenotype. VIGE of STAYGREEN 1 (SGR1), a gene involved in fruit color variation, generated sgr1 mutant lines with recolored red-brown fruits and high chlorophyll levels. The obtained editing events were heritable, overall confirming the successful breeding of fruit color. Altogether, our VIGE approach offers great potential for accelerated functional genomics of tomato variation, as well as for precision breeding of novel tomato traits.