CRISPR and agriculture: Technology improving crop yields, nutrition and stress tolerance

rice genetics
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

The present study reviews agricultural applications related to the use of CRISPR systems in plants from 52 peer-reviewed articles published since 2014. Based on this literature review, the main use of CRISPR systems is to achieve improved yield performance, biofortification, biotic and abiotic stress tolerance, with rice (Oryza sativa) being the most studied crop.

China and the U.S.A. are ranked first with 22 (42%) and second with 10 articles (19%), respectively. Europe, which includes the U.K., Sweden, France, Hungary, Germany, Austria and Belgium, had 9 articles (17%).

Since 2013, considerable progress has been made in plant genome editing thanks to CRISPR/Cas systems. This technology has allowed straightforward, cost-effective and efficient gene editing compared with previous technologies, including zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs) and transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs), making it accessible to many researchers. However, this emerging method is still developing and scientific efforts must continue to be made in order to obtain a mature technology and to realize the full potential of the technology.

[T]he use of this system already represents an emerging market, with CRISPR/Cas applications spanning a wide range of industries including research, agricultural and biomedical. The agricultural applications described in this literature review represent only the very first, initial uses of this exciting technology, and we can expect many more valuable opportunities for agriculture in the near future.

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Relative importance of the different applications of CRISPR systems in terms of the number of articles (2014–2017)

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Use of CRISPR systems in plant genome editing: toward new opportunities in agriculture

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