Low-gluten, non-transgenic wheat engineered with CRISPR/Cas9

Celiac disease is a debilitating autoimmune disease in which antigens in plant gliadins (one type of gluten protein) stimulate production of antibodies that inflame the lining of the small intestine. In wheat, α-gliadin (the main cause of the sensitivity) is encoded by more than 100 genes, thwarting their elimination through traditional breeding methods. Sánchez-León et al. designed a CRISPR/Cas9 strategy to specifically induce mutations in α-gliadin-encoding genes. Amongst the lines examined, some showed a strong, heritable reduction in α-gliadin production. This study shows that potential application of CRISPR/Cas9 for the production of low-gluten wheat varieties. Plant Biotech. J. 10.1111/pbi.12837