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Crop Biotech Update

Chinese Scientists Predict Bright Future for Genome Edited Oil Crops

July 21, 2021

Scientists from China conducted a review on CRISPR technology and applications on oil crops to determine its prospects in the agricultural and food industry. They are optimistic that genome editing in oil crops would flourish in the near future.

The review was conducted to provide references for the better use of CRISPR to modify oil crops for higher yield, citing both the potentials and challenges that the scientists identified. Using trends from other genome-edited crops like rice and tomatoes, the review revealed that distinct CRISPR-Cas9 variants that show altered or relaxed protospacer adjacent motif (PAM) profiles will be harnessed in base and prime editors to enhance the oil crop genome editing function. The advances of the CRISPR technology can also contribute to the construction of a genome-wide mutant library for different oil crops, and the accelerated domestication of a vast majority of wild novel oil crops to address the global crop oil demand. The paper also mentioned the double haploid inducer-mediated genome editing system was successfully used to directly modify multiple gene homoeologs in rapeseed. On the other hand, the review also noted the challenge caused by complicated genomes and recalcitrance to transformation, such as obtaining the CRISPR-based knockout lines in sesame, sunflower, and groundnut. Thus, the researchers recommended that novel genetic element delivery systems for these crops need to be developed in the future.

The scientists concluded that genome-edited oil crop research still has a long way to go, but its regulatory constraints are predicted to be gradually removed in the future.

Read the full review in Oil Crop Science to know more.

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