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Crop Biotech Update

Researchers Review Genome Editing Strategies Used in Developing Rice Disease Resistance

August 12, 2020

Chinese Academy of Agriculture Sciences researchers and partners reviewed the current genome editing strategies used to improve rice disease resistance. The article is available in the Rice Science journal.

Rice is the staple food of two-thirds of the world population. Its agricultural productivity continues to be at risk due to emerging pests and phytopathogens, leading to a decrease in crop yield and quality, thus, affecting global food security. With traditional breeding methods and the advent of genome editing tools, the future of rice improvement looks promising. Thus, the researchers collected documented pieces of evidence on how genome editing had improved disease resistance.

According to the review article, CRISPR-Cas9 has been one of the most powerful genome editing tools in the development of rice varieties with improved resistance against bacterial, fungal, and viral diseases. The recent development of more Cas9 variants (Cas9-VQR, Cas9-VRER, Cpf1-RR, Cpf1-RVR, and SaCas9) together with the advent of novel base editing tools that enable precise genome modifications and the DNA-free genome editing via ribonucleoproteins demonstrate significant promise in the development of future strategies that could effectively improve the pathogen-specific immunity of rice.

Read the review article in Rice Science.

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