© Daria Chrobok, DC SciArt

Crop: Kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis)
Property: More compact growth, earlier flowering

Domesticated fairly recently (around 1900 in New Zealand), only a few existing kiwi varieties are the result of targeted breeding. Therefore, commercial kiwi cultivation is still associated with several problems. These include, for example, expensive management practices required to tame these long-lived, woody, perennial climbers, inadequate crop yields in warmer climates and a high susceptibility to diseases. In particular, long adolescence (about five years before first flowering and fruiting) is a major obstacle to the development of improved varieties. Scientists from New Zealand have succeeded in using CRISPR/Cas to produce point mutations in order to generate more compact kiwi plants with faster flowering and development. This approach could be a useful tool to accelerate the breeding process in the future, increase productivity and facilitate future kiwi cultivation in the greenhouse.


TitleMutagenesis of kiwifruit CENTRORADIALIS-like genes transforms a climbing woody perennial with long juvenility and axillary flowering into a compact plant with rapid terminal flowering
AuthorsErika Varkonyi-Gasic et al.
CountryNew Zealand
JournalPlant Biotechnology Journal