Genetic researchers working with gene editing, along with farmers and growers, are excited about the potential for CRISPR technology to expedite solutions to a wide array of pressing concerns including climate change, malnutrition and population growth. Existing food crops can be modified to increase yields and drought and pest resistance, and improve nutrient proles.
Scientists from Penn State University used CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to disable an enzyme that causes white mushrooms to brown, thereby extending shelf-life. The mushroom has been cleared by the USDA for commercial cultivation.
Genetic scientists hope CRISPR-Cas9 technology may provide a solution to the “citrus greening” disease that is decimating Florida orange groves by editing the genome of the trees to make them more resistant to the pathogen that causes the disease.
The global banana crop is currently under threat from a widespread fungal disease. Australian scientists already have succeeded in introducing resistance via transgenic modification. Now, they hope to use CRISPR-Cas9 techniques to produce disease-resistant bananas without introducing any foreign DNA.
Scientists in Spain have successfully used CRISPR-Cas9 techniques to modify the genome of wheat, producing strains that are significantly lower in gluten.
Read full, original post: Meet GenED: The Next Generation of Biotechnology