Prof. GAO Caixia invited to review applications of CRISPR–Cas in agriculture and plant biotechnology

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  • Published: 2020-09-30
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The prokaryote-derived CRISPR–Cas genome editing technology has altered plant molecular biology beyond all expectations. Characterized by robustness and high target specificity and programmability, CRISPR–Cas allows precise genetic manipulation of crop species, which provides the opportunity to create germplasms with beneficial traits and to develop novel, more sustainable agricultural systems. Furthermore, the numerous emerging biotechnologies based on CRISPR–Cas platforms have expanded the toolbox of fundamental research and plant synthetic biology.

Recently, the research team led by Prof. GAO Caixia was invited to review the applications of CRISPR–Cas in agriculture and plant biotechnology. In this Review, researchers first briefly describe gene editing by CRISPR–Cas, focusing on the newest, precise gene editing technologies such as base editing and prime editing. Then the most important applications of CRISPR–Cas in increasing plant yield, quality, disease resistance and herbicide resistance, breeding and accelerated domestication was discussed. Researchers also highlighted the most recent breakthroughs in CRISPR–Cas-related plant biotechnologies, including CRISPR–Cas reagent delivery, gene regulation, multiplexed gene editing and mutagenesis and directed evolution technologies. Finally, they discussed prospective applications of this game-changing technology.

The review was recently published online in Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology.