© Daria Chrobok, DC SciArt

Crop: Lettuce (Lactuca sativa)
Property: Increased vitamin content, delayed browning

Ascorbic acid (better known as vitamin C) is an essential nutrient for humans and animals. Compared to "vitamin C bombs" such as oranges, kale or broccoli, there are relatively low levels of Vitamin C in lettuce. Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences have succeeded in eliminating a gene with CRISPR/Cas, which has led to an increase in the vitamin C content of lettuce by about 150%. At the same time, the higher vitamin C content results in a slower browning of the lettuce, as vitamin C is oxidized first and thus protects the rest of the tissue from oxidative browning. (For the same reason, apple slices brown more slowly when sprinkled with lemon juice.)


TitleGenome editing of upstream open reading frames enables translational control in plants
AuthorsHuawei Zhang et al.
JournalNature Biotechnology