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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 26, 2025
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  5. Abstract

    Agriculture is one of the most fundamental ways in which human societies interact with the environment. The form and function of agriculture have important socio-political implications in terms of yields, labor requirements, variability and resilience, and elite control. Hawai‘i has been used as a model system for the discussion of coupled human and natural systems, and how the uneven distribution of agricultural opportunities has manifested in the political ecology. However, consideration of agriculture has emphasized forms with physical infrastructure documented through archaeology and have not included arboricultural forms that were extensive among Pacific Islands. We leverage existing, independent data sets to build and validate spatial models of two intensities of arboriculture across the Hawaiian archipelago: Agroforestry and Novel Forest. Model validation demonstrates good accuracy that includes both expected and unexpected sources of errors. Results of the models demonstrate that arboricultural techniques accounted for ~70% of the agricultural potential by area and ~40% of the agricultural potential by yield. Unlike existing agricultural forms modeled, such as flooded wetland terrace cultivation and rainfed field production, which have strong distributional patterns based on the age of the islands, arboricultural potential is well distributed across all the islands. The extent, distribution, and characteristics of arboricultural methods provide important augmentation of the current narrative of production dynamics and distribution, and the political ecology, of pre-contact Hawai‘i.

     
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  8. Prime editing (PE) technology enables precise alterations in the genetic code of a genome of interest. PE offers great potential for identifying major agronomically important genes in plants and editing them into superior variants, ideally targeting multiple loci simultaneously to realize the collective effects of the edits. Here, we report the development of a modular assembly-based multiplex PE system in rice and demonstrate its efficacy in editing up to four genes in a single transformation experiment. The duplex PE (DPE) system achieved a co-editing efficiency of 46.1% in the T0 generation, converting TFIIAγ5 to xa5 and xa23 to Xa23SW11. The resulting double-mutant lines exhibited robust broad-spectrum resistance against multiple Xanthomonas oryzae pathovar oryzae (Xoo) strains in the T1 generation. In addition, we successfully edited OsEPSPS1 to an herbicide-tolerant variant and OsSWEET11a to a Xoo-resistant allele, achieving a co-editing rate of 57.14%. Furthermore, with the quadruple PE (QPE) system, we edited four genes-two for herbicide tolerance (OsEPSPS1 and OsALS1) and two for Xoo resistance (TFIIAγ5 and OsSWEET11a)-using one construct, with a co-editing efficiency of 43.5% for all four genes in the T0 generation. We performed multiplex PE using five more constructs, including two for triplex PE (TPE) and three for QPE, each targeting a different set of genes. The editing rates were dependent on the activity of pegRNA and/or ngRNA. For instance, optimization of ngRNA increased the PE rates for one of the targets (OsSPL13) from 0% to 30% but did not improve editing at another target (OsGS2). Overall, our modular assembly-based system yielded high PE rates and streamlined the cloning of PE reagents, making it feasible for more labs to utilize PE for their editing experiments. These findings have significant implications for advancing gene editing techniques in plants and may pave the way for future agricultural applications. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2024