PRECS student projects

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2021


With the simplicity of a unique genome engineering mechanism, CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technique has amazed scholars with its effectiveness and efficiency in manipulating gene sequences.[1] As this advanced technique develops, its applications on different species arise as prominent subjects yet to be determined. Due to the great economic value of pumpkins and the need for examining CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing efficiency, Casperita pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo) is chosen as the subject to be investigated on. Through introducing CRISPR/Cas9 system —for modifying phytoene desaturase (PDS) gene— into pumpkin seeds with Agrobacterium-mediated transformation, we regenerate transgenic pumpkins and expect to observe albino leaves in the transformed plants. By identifying mutated pumpkins and analyzing genotyping data, the efficiency in the application of transformation and CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technique on pumpkins can be established. Utilizing the findings, we aim to make contribution in developing an effective, promising gene-editing practice for pumpkin and maximizing its benefits in agriculture.


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Research was conducted with the cooperation of the Department of Crop Sciences, College of ACES, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Financial support was provided by the National Science Foundation under grant #NSF REU 1950819/1950786, as part of the Phenotypic Plasticity Research Experience for Community College Students, through the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Institute for Genomic Biology and Parkland College.



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