Crop Biotech Update

CRISPR Applications in Sugarcane and Non-Cultivated Grasses

April 10, 2024

Researchers from the National Key Laboratory for Biological Breeding of Tropical Crops and Sugarcane Research Institute in Yunnan, China, reviewed the gene editing techniques used in sugarcane and cultivated grasses and identified if they can also be used for non-cultivated grasses.

Climate change has negative effects on plants, such as crops and grasses. Thus, it is essential to conserve and develop grasslands to ensure the functional sustainability of the ecosystem services they provide. Genetic improvement of grasses may help achieve these goals. However, there is limited research about gene editing of non-cultivated grasses, such as lemon grass, wild sugarcane, and Japanese sweet flag.

The researchers evaluated the application of CRISPR in sugarcane and explored if the method can be utilized for non-cultivated grasses. The team also discussed the limitations of the technique and future perspectives in the field of study.

They concluded that despite facing hurdles like gene delivery, off-targeting effects, and limited editing efficiency, future genome editing research on non-cultivated grasses holds immense promise. This field has the potential to unlock new frontiers in genetic modification, ultimately contributing to food security.

For more information, read the article on Frontiers Plant Science.

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