The CRISPR/Cas9 system has recently been engineered to confer resistance to geminiviruses in plants. However, we show here that the usefulness of this antiviral strategy is undermined by off-target effects identified by deep sequencing in Arabidopsis. We construct two virus-inducible CRISPR/Cas9 vectors that efficiently inhibit beet severe curly top virus (BSCTV) accumulation in both transient assays (Nicotiana benthamiana) and transgenic lines (Arabidopsis). Deep sequencing detects no off-target effect in candidate sites of the transgenic Arabidopsis. This kind of virus-inducible genome-editing system should be widely applicable for generating virus-resistant plants without off-target costs.
- CRISPR/Cas9 system