Jonathan Jones of the Sainsbury Laboratory in the United Kingdom will enhance mutation rates of R gene loci in a targeted fashion by creating transgenic plants with a mutagenic transgene. The mutagenic transgene has sequence-specific DNA binding domains fused to deaminases that mutate cytidine to thymidine (changing C:G base pairs to T:A base pairs), increasing mutation rates specifically at R gene loci. Resulting plants would then be screened for resistance with promising lines backcrossed to remove the mutagenic locus. Proof of concept will be completed in yeast, Arabidopsis, and then wheat.
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