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Crop Biotech Update

The Current Status of CRISPR-Cas9 Applications in Food and Agri

March 13, 2019

Various genetic engineering techniques has proven to be beneficial to food and agricultural industry by improving agronomic characteristics. Genome editing tools such as siRNA-mediated RNA interference for targeted suppression of gene expression and transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) and zinc-finger nucleases (ZFNs) for DNA repair have been extensively used commercially. With the advent of CRISPR-Cas9 system, genome editing has been revolutionized. Experts from University of Campinas in Brazil, together with other researchers in Taiwan, Spain, Greece, and Denmark, reviewed the progress of CRISPR-Cas9 applications in food and agriculture, particularly in the development of resistant crops with enhanced quality and productivity. Their paper is published in Biotechnology Advances.

The paper highlights the following findings: 

  • CRISPR-Cas9 system is faster, easier, more precise and cheaper compared to the conventional methods.
  • CRISPR-Cas9 technology could be used to improve the productivity of fermentation process.
  • There is no clear mechanism of Cas9 from designed sgRNA and consequent recycle.
  • Multiple sgRNAs+delivery system allows possibilities for gene clusters deletion.

Download the full paper in Biotechnology Advances.