Recently, Indian scientists developed the first ever Gene edited low-pungent mustard that is pest and disease-resistant.
GS III: Science and Technology
Dimensions of the Article:
- Issues with Mustard Seeds
- Gene Editing Breakthrough
Issues with Mustard Seeds:
- Rapeseed-mustard is a significant oilseed crop in India.
- Mustard seeds contain high levels of glucosinolates, compounds responsible for pungency in oil and meal.
- Glucosinolates make rapeseed meal unpalatable to animals and can cause health issues like goiter in livestock.
Gene Editing Breakthrough:
- Researchers focused on glucosinolate transporter (GTR) genes responsible for glucosinolate accumulation in mustard seeds.
- 12 GTR genes categorized into GTR1 and GTR2 classes play a role in transporting glucosinolates to seeds.
- Using CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing tool, 10 out of 12 GTR genes in the ‘Varuna’ mustard variety were edited.
- This disrupted the functioning of proteins responsible for transporting glucosinolates to seeds.
Outcome and Benefits:
- By editing GTR genes, glucosinolate content in seeds was reduced, matching canola-quality rapeseed.
- Mustard lines with lower glucosinolate content were developed, providing oil and meal similar to canola.
- The new mustard lines are transgene-free, without foreign genes, ensuring they are non-genetically modified (GM).
- Gene-edited mustard holds potential to address pungency and palatability issues in rapeseed meal.
- Livestock feed intake can be improved, avoiding health problems and reducing the need for mixing with fodder grass.
- This breakthrough can contribute to enhancing the quality and utility of domestically grown oilseeds in India.
-Source: Indian Express