Will gene editing boost food production? The potential of a ‘revolutionary technology’

shutterstock
Credit: Shutterstock

Genome-editing tools provide advanced biotechnological techniques that …. have been utilized in a wide variety of plant species to characterize gene functions and improve agricultural traits …. [W]e review novel breakthroughs that are extending the potential of genome-edited crops [and discuss] [fu]ture prospects for integrating this revolutionary technology with conventional and new-age crop breeding strategies.

The risks involved in altering genomes through the use of genome-editing technology are significantly lower than those associated with GM crops because most edits alter only a few nucleotides, producing changes that are not unlike those found throughout naturally occurring populations.

 

Table 1: Crop traits that have been improved by genome-editing techniques

 

Crop species

Gene editor

Target gene

DNA repair type

Target trait

Reference

Maize

ZFNs

ZmIPK1

HR

Herbicide tolerant and phytate reduced maize

[14]

Maize

ZFNs

ZmTLP

HR

Trait stacking

[15]

Rice

ZFNs

OsQQR

HR

Trait stacking

[16]

Rice

TALENs

OsSWEET14

NHEJ

Bacterial blight resistance

[18]

Wheat

TALENs

TaMLO

NHEJ

Powdery mildew resistance

[19]

Maize

TALENs

ZmGL2

NHEJ

Reduced epicuticular wax in leaves

[20]

Sugarcane

TALENs

COMT

NHEJ

Improved cell wall composition

[21]

Sugarcane

TALENs

COMT

NHEJ

Improved saccharification efficiency

[22]

Soybean

TALENs

FAD2-1A, FAD2-1B

NHEJ

High oleic acid contents

[23]

Soybean

TALENs

FAD2-1A, FAD2-1B, FAD3A

NHEJ

High oleic, low linoleic contents

[24]

Potato

TALENs

VInv

NHEJ

Minimizing reducing sugars

[25]

Rice

TALENs

OsBADH2

NHEJ

Fragrant rice

[26]

Maize

TALENs

ZmMTL

NHEJ

Induction of haploid plants

[27]

Brassica oleracea

TALENs

FRIGIDA

NHEJ

Flowering earlier

[28]

Tomato

TALENs

ANT1

HR

Purple tomatoes with high anthocyanin

[29]

Rice

CRISPR/Cas9

LAZY1

NHEJ

Tiller-spreading

[39]

Rice

CRISPR/Cas9

Gn1a, GS3, DEP1

NHEJ

Enhanced grain number, larger grain size and dense erect panicles

[40]

Wheat

CRISPR/Cas9

GW2

NHEJ

Increased grain weight and protein content

[41]

Camelina sativa

CRISPR/Cas9

FAD2

NHEJ

Decreased polyunsaturated fatty acids

[42]

Rice

CRISPR/Cas9

SBEIIb

NHEJ

High amylose content

[43]

Maize

CRISPR/Cas9

Wx1

NHEJ

High amylopectin content

[44]

Potato

CRISPR/Cas9

Wx1

NHEJ

High amylopectin content

[45]

Wheat

CRISPR/Cas9

EDR1

NHEJ

Powdery mildew resistance

[46]

Rice

CRISPR/Cas9

OsERF922

NHEJ

Enhanced rice blast resistance

[47]

Rice

CRISPR/Cas9

OsSWEET13

NHEJ

Bacterial blight resistance

[48]

Tomato

CRISPR/Cas9

SlMLO1

NHEJ

Powdery mildew resistance

[49]

Tomato

CRISPR/Cas9

SlJAZ2

NHEJ

Bacterial speck resistance

[50]

Grapefruit

CRISPR/Cas9

CsLOB1 promoter

NHEJ

Alleviated citrus canker

[51]

Orange

CRISPR/Cas9

CsLOB1 promoter

NHEJ

Citrus canker resistance

[52]

Grapefruit

CRISPR/Cas9

CsLOB1

NHEJ

Citrus canker resistance

[53]

Cucumber

CRISPR/Cas9

eIF4E

NHEJ

Virus resistance

[54]

Mushroom

CRISPR/Cas9

PPO

NHEJ

Anti-browning phenotype

[55]

Tomato

CRISPR/Cas9

SP5G

NHEJ

Earlier harvest time

[56]

Tomato

CRISPR/Cas9

SlAGL6

NHEJ

Parthenocarpy

[57]

Maize

CRISPR/Cas9

TMS5

NHEJ

Thermosensitive male-sterile

[58]

Rice

CRISPR/Cas9

OsMATL

NHEJ

Induction of haploid plants

[59]

Tomato

CRISPR/Cas9

SP, SP5G, CLV3, WUS, GGP1

NHEJ

Tomato domestication

[60]

Rice

CRISPR/Cas9

ALS

HR

Herbicide resistance

[61]

Rice

CRISPR/Cas9

ALS

HR

Herbicide resistance

[62]

Rice

CRISPR/Cas9

EPSPS

NHEJ

Herbicide resistance

[63]

Rice

CRISPR/Cas9

ALS

HR

Herbicide resistance

[64]

Soybean

CRISPR/Cas9

ALS

HR

Herbicide resistance

[65]

Maize

CRISPR/Cas9

ALS

HR

Herbicide resistance

[66]

Potato

CRISPR/Cas9

ALS

HR

Herbicide resistance

[67]

Flax

CRISPR/Cas9

EPSPS

HR

Herbicide resistance

[68]

Cassava

CRISPR/Cas9

EPSPS

HR

Herbicide resistance

[69]

Maize

CRISPR/Cas9

ARGOS8

HR

Drought stress tolerance

[70]

[T]he CRISPR/Cas -gene-editing] system is characterized by its simplicity, efficiency, and low cost, and by its ability to target multiple genes. Because of these characteristic features, CRISPR/Cas9 …. may be an effective solution to a variety of problems in plant breeding. To date, many crops such as rice, maize, wheat, soybean, barley, sorghum, potato, tomato, flax, rapeseed, Camelina, cotton, cucumber, lettuce, grapes, grapefruit, apple, oranges, and watermelon have been edited by this technique

With the progress already made in the development of genome-editing tools and the development of new breakthroughs, genome editing promises to play a key role in speeding up crop breeding and in meeting the ever-increasing global demand for food. Moreover, the exigencies of climate change call for great flexibility and innovation in crop resilience and production systems. In addition, we must take into account government regulations and consumer acceptance around the use of these new breeding technologies.

Read full, original article: Applications and potential of genome editing in crop improvement

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend