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Modified Organism
Maize with altered growth characteristics
Record information and status
Record ID
Date of creation
2019-08-19 19:19 UTC (austein.mcloughlin@cbd.int)
Date of last update
2019-08-20 13:41 UTC (austein.mcloughlin@cbd.int)
Date of publication
2019-08-20 13:41 UTC (austein.mcloughlin@cbd.int)

Living Modified Organism identity
The image below identifies the LMO through its unique identifier, trade name and a link to this page of the BCH. Click on it to download a larger image on your computer. For help on how to use it go to the LMO quick-links page.

LMO name
Maize with altered growth characteristics
Transformation event
B104 (NGAL2-KO)
Dr. Hilde Nelissen
Departement Plantensysteembiologie
VIB - Universiteit Gent (VIB-UGent)
Technologiepark 927
Belgium, B-9052
Phone:+32 9 2446611
The maize plants have been edited using the CRISPR/Cas9 system resulting in the mutation of the NGAL2 gene. One extra DNA base pair has been introduced into the target gene resulting in the knock-out of the gene by means of a frameshift mutation.

The NGAL2 is a transcription factor that has been shown to negatively affect the expression of the PLA1 gene. The PLA1 gene codes for a cytochrome P450 mono-oxygenase enzyme that is involved in the production of factors that control cell proliferation. Due to the removal of the transcriptional repressor, increased expression of PLA1 is expected and would alter growth characteristics, which are phenotypically shown by resulting in a significant larger leaf size and increased biomass.
Recipient Organism or Parental Organisms
The term Recipient organism refers to an organism (either already modified or non-modified) that was subjected to genetic modification, whereas Parental organisms refers to those that were involved in cross breeding or cell fusion.
Zea mays - Maize, Corn, MAIZE
Point of collection or acquisition of the recipient organism
Zea Mays inbred line B104
Characteristics of the transformation process
Techniques used for the modification
  • Agrobacterium-mediated DNA transfer
  • CRISPR-Cas9 technique
Introduced or modified genetic elements
Some of these genetic elements may be present as fragments or truncated forms. Please see notes below, where applicable.
NGAL2 transcription factor - Zea mays - Maize, Corn, MAIZE
Changes in physiology and/or production - Yield
Notes regarding the genetic elements introduced or modified in this LMO
Utilizing Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation, a gene cassette containing the CRISPR-Cas9 machinery was inserted into the genome. The gene editing machinery introduced a single basepair insertion into the coding sequence of NGAL2 through a DNA repair mechanism and resulted in a frameshift mutation. Transcription is under control of the native promoter and terminator.

Transformants containing the gene cassette and the desired mutations were selected, and by means of conventional crossing with wild-type plants, the CRISPR/Cas9 gene cassette was removed by selecting T1 plants that only contained the desired mutation, but no longer contained the gene cassette (null-segregants). Therefore, the plants in the field trial are not expected to contain foreign genetic material. They should only contain the desired mutation.
LMO characteristics
Modified traits
Other gene(s) whose expression was affected by the transformation
NGAL2 transcription factor - Zea mays - Maize, Corn, MAIZE
Changes in physiology and/or production - Yield
Plastochron 1 - Zea mays - Maize, Corn, MAIZE
Changes in physiology and/or production - Yield, Growth rate, Reproduction
Tolerance to abiotic stress - Cold / Heat, Drought
How the expression of the gene(s) was affected
The insertion of a single basepair into the coding sequence of NGAL2 created a frameshift mutation that resulted in a knockoutof the gene. Thus, the native protein is not expected to be present in the modified cells. Moreover, since NGAL2 is a transcriptional repressor of PLA1, the absence of a functional NGAL2 should thus allow an increased expression of the PLA1 gene.
Common use(s)
  • Research
Additional Information
Additional Information
In Arabidopsis thaliana knockout experiments of NGAL2, seed size was enlarged, biomass was increased and inflorescent architecture was modified.