Restricted Research - Award List, Note/Discussion Page

Fiscal Year: 2021

260  University of North Texas  (84556)

Principal Investigator: Ayre,Brian G

Total Amount of Contract, Award, or Gift (Annual before 2011): $ 294,000

Exceeds $250,000 (Is it flagged?): Yes

Start and End Dates: - 1/14/24

Restricted Research: YES

Academic Discipline: Biological Sciences

Department, Center, School, or Institute: College of Science

Title of Contract, Award, or Gift: Generating pathogen- / pest-resistant non-GMO cotton through targeted genome editing of oxylipin signaling pathways

Name of Granting or Contracting Agency/Entity: U.S. Department of Agriculture

CFDA: 10.310

Program Title: N/A


1.1.1 (SAM); IBC Protocol #2021-14; Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) is our most important fiber crop, and cotton agriculture and associated industries contribute substantially to the US economy. Yield and quality are undermined by pests and pathogens, and prominent among these are cotton aphids and Fusarium fungal infections. Plant synthesized oxylipins, specifically 9-hydroxy fatty acids resulting from 9-lipoxygenase activity (9-LOX), are demonstrated to be feeding stimulants for many pests and reductions are shown to provide protection. We propose to elucidate the oxylipin signal transduction pathway and manipulate its derivatives to confer natural resistance against cotton aphid and Fusarium wilt. First (Obj. 1), we identified genes encoding 9-LOX enzymes and we will functionally test these using virus-induced gene silencing. We will determine if silencing GhLOX genes reduces 9-hydroxy fatty acids levels and if this deters aphid and Fusarium infestations. We will also explore the genetic networks involved in GhLOX signaling to identify additional potential targets for crop improvement. Second (Obj. 2), we will introduce stable alterations to GhLOX genes using Cas9 and Cas12a endonuclease gene editing approaches, and then test that these are heritable and confer resistance against cotton aphids and Fusarium infection. During this effort, we aim to accelerate gene editing strategies by incorporating inducible genes promoting somatic embryogenesis and whole-plant regeneration. Third (Obj. 3), by exploiting a new approach for making meristems more susceptible to genetic manipulation, we propose to develop a novel, meristem-based gene editing system to achieve stable alterations in germ-line cells and thereby by-pass the need for tissue culture. This high-risk objective may revolutionize biotechnology approaches to improve cotton agriculture.

Discussion: No discussion notes


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