Pepper Genome Editing-Cas9 Stable Transformation

Vainstein Alexander (Sasha), HUJI, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences, Plant Sciences and Genetics



Agriculture , Plant Genetics


Pepper, Hot Pepper, Sweet Pepper, Cas9, CRISPR, Non-GMO

Current development stage

General list: TRL4 Technology validated in lab             

Collaboration Opportunity

Licensing of Technology


CRISPR/Cas9 is a genome editing tool that allows for modification of the genome. This technique is used for both basic research and for creating innovative consumer products. To date about 24 various crops have been edited using CRISPR[1], however, no research group has described pepper plants stably expressing Cas9.

Our Innovation

Permanent site-specific genome modifications in pepper plants by transient viral vectors. The researcher has developed a procedure for successful transformation of sweet pepper & hot pepper varieties to stably express the Cas9 endonuclease of the CRISPR gene editing tool. This innovation can be used for gene editing, gene trait validation or breeding novel marketable non-GMO varieties. The advantages of this approach are:

  • First ever stable Cas9 pepper transformation
  • Targeted gene editing, trait validation and breeding tool
  • High throughput


The Cas9 expressing pepper lines have all the elements to allow CRISPR genome editing and the researcher has already created genome edited pepper plants. A single transgenic Cas9-pepper line can be used to test many target genes and traits so there is no need to produce new transgenic lines for each target gene. The researchers edited the genomes of these Cas9-pepper plants via virus-transformed trans-acting guide RNAs – for all the chosen target genes/traits.

This innovation will allow breeders to enhance their existing pepper varieties with novel target traits of interest. Furthermore, after back-crossing the lines the breeder will be able to remove the Cas9 gene leaving behind only the gene-edited pepper varieties. These resulting lines may be considered Non-GMO in certain geographies. By combining this technology with the MemoGene, the breeder/researcher may screen many phenotypes when transforming a plethora of guide RNAs.



We are looking for industry partners to license the ‘know-how’ for transforming and genome editing their own pepper varieties or for partners who would like our researcher to transform or cross Cas9 into their proprietary varieties and/or edit the genomes of their proprietary varieties as a service.
[1] https://www.synthego.com/blog/crispr-agriculture-foods



Contact for more information:

Ilya Pittel
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