J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2018, Vol. 60 ›› Issue (7): 536-540.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12650

Special Issue: Rice Genomics and Agriculture CRISPR

• Letters to the Editor • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Efficient allelic replacement in rice by gene editing: A case study of the NRT1.1B gene

Jingying Li1†, Xin Zhang1†, Yongwei Sun1, Jiahui Zhang1, Wenming Du1, Xiuping Guo1, Shaoya Li1, Yunde Zhao2,3*, Lanqin Xia1*   

  1. 1Institute of Crop Sciences (ICS), Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), Beijing 100081, China
    2National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement and National Center of Plant Gene Research (Wuhan), Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China
    3Section of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0116, USA
  • Received:2018-02-03 Accepted:2018-03-20 Published:2018-07-01
  • About author:These authors who contribute equally to this work.
    **Correspondences: Email: Lanqin Xia(xialanqin@caas.cn; Dr. Xia is fully responsible for the distribution of all materials associated with this article); Yunde Zhao (yundezhao@ucsd.edu)


Precise replacement of an existing allele in commercial cultivars with an elite allele is a major goal in crop breeding. A single nucleotide polymorphism in the NRT1.1B gene between japonica and indica rice is responsible for the improved nitrogen use efficiency in indica rice. Herein, we precisely replaced the japonica NRT1.1B allele with the indica allele, in just one generation, using CRISPR/Cas9 gene‐editing technology. No additional selective pressure was needed to enrich the precise replacement events. This work demonstrates the feasibility of replacing any genes with elite alleles within one generation, greatly expanding our ability to improve agriculturally important traits.

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