Future of CRISPR/Cas9 in Agriculture


Genome reading and editing are exponentially advancing technologies, putting tools such as next generation technologies and CRISPR at the fore front of research and practice.

Science of gene editing is advancing at enormous speed. With the ability to edit an organism’s DNA researchers are using technologies and tools such as CRISPR to combat genetic diseases.

1.It can be conveniently used for the production of virus free plants as its basic principles borrowed from the bacterial defense from virus attack.

2. Indels  are  created  by targeting the dsDNA of Gemini virus to generate virus resistance plants.This was adopted in beet severe curly top virus in Arabidopsis and Nicotiana benthamiana , bean yellow dwarf virus in Nicotiana benthmiana and tomato yellow leaf curl virus in N.benthamiana.

3.In Oryza sativa gene PDS (Phytoene desaturase) was targeted to knockout and HDR for phenotype albinism. By using Indels at gene SWEET 14(sugar transorter)promoter in chromosomal regions they could modify the pale green leaves and tiller spreading.

4.In Sorghum bicolor indel aare used to target gene DsRED for the phenotype DsRED.

5. In Solanum lycopersicum RIN(Transcription factor) is knockout which is responsible for the incomplete ripening.

6.In Zea mays gene HKT(high affinity K+ transporter)is knocked out and gene ALS2(acetolactone synthase) was modified by homology direct repair(HDR) for cholosulphan resistance .

7.In the maize gene LIG1 (Liguleless 1) was modified by HDR for the phenotype Phosphinothricin resistance.

8. In maize gene Ms26, Ms45(male fertility genes) are targeted by knock out the genes and PSY1( phytoene synthase 1) was targeted which was responsible for albinism.

9.In Triticum aestivum by using KO and deletion gene INOX (inositol oxygenase) was modified.

10.In Nicotiana tabacum , gene responsible for phytoene desturase was targeted by deleting certain genes for albinism.

11.In barley, plasma membrane protein which regulates dormancy was modified

12.In Brassica oleracea gene responsible for gibberlin deficient was targeted to for the phenotype dwarfness.

13.In cucumber, eukaryotic translation initiation factor was targeted for attaining virus resistance.

In this way CRISPR has been used vastly to overcome the shortfalls in agriculture as this system relies on precise modification of genes this could be advantageous over other gene editing techniques like TALEN and ZFN.

CRISPR/cas9 is a novel tool in creation of genetic variation in the present genepool and is the basic requirement for crop improvement.


Meghana D P, MSc ( Plant breeding and genetics), Punjab Agricultural University, Punjab.

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