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Crop Biotech Update

Review of the Impacts of Genome Editing Techniques in Plants

April 12, 2017

Genome editing has evolved from the use of chemical and physical mutagenic agents capable of altering DNA sequences to biological tools. The advent of these biological tools, such as ZFNs, TALENs, ODMs and CRISPR-Cas9 has further advanced the understanding of mutagenesis such that mutations can now be performed in a precise and directed manner resulting in gene knock-outs and knock-ins.

These tools have rapidly incorporated themselves into agriculture and life science biotech research resulting in new opportunities to feed the global population. One of the best evidences of the impact of genome editing in science is the number of publications that were published on genome editing techniques. For example, CRISPR publications alone have increased exponentially from 2010 to 2015. This increase proves the significance and impact of this technology in the scientific community.

The world is currently at the crossroads of how the classic transgenic and gene editing technologies are evaluated and how products from gene editing should be regulated. This review from D. D. Songstad of Cibus LLC discusses the new genome editing techniques as well as the regulatory aspects of their products in comparison to classic transgenic crops.

For more on this review, read the article in Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences.