CRISPR for accelerating genetic gains in under utilized crops of the drylands: Progress and prospects

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Sharma, K. K., Palakolanu, S. R., Bhattacharya, J., Shankhapal, A. R. and Bhatnagar-Mathur, P. 2022. CRISPR for accelerating genetic gains in under utilized crops of the drylands: Progress and prospects. Frontiers in Genetics. 13, p. 999207. https://doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2022.999207

AuthorsSharma, K. K., Palakolanu, S. R., Bhattacharya, J., Shankhapal, A. R. and Bhatnagar-Mathur, P.
Abstract

Technologies and innovations are critical for addressing the future food system needs where genetic resources are an essential component of the change process. Advanced breeding tools like “genome editing” are vital for modernizing crop breeding to provide game-changing solutions to some of the “must needed” traits in agriculture. CRISPR/Cas-based tools have been rapidly repurposed for editing applications based on their improved efficiency, specificity and reduced off-target effects. Additionally, precise gene-editing tools such as base editing, prime editing, and multiplexing provide precision in stacking of multiple traits in an elite variety, and facilitating specific and targeted crop improvement. This has helped in advancing research and delivery of products in a short time span, thereby enhancing the rate of genetic gains. A special focus has been on food security in the drylands through crops including millets, teff, fonio, quinoa, Bambara groundnut, pigeonpea and cassava. While these crops contribute significantly to the agricultural economy and resilience of the dryland, improvement of several traits including increased stress tolerance, nutritional value, and yields are urgently required. Although CRISPR has potential to deliver disruptive innovations, prioritization of traits should consider breeding product profiles and market segments for designing and accelerating delivery of locally adapted and preferred crop varieties for the drylands. In this context, the scope of regulatory environment has been stated, implying the dire impacts of unreasonable scrutiny of genome-edited plants on the evolution and progress of much-needed technological advances.

KeywordsCRiSPR/Cas; Food security; Gene editing; Green revolution; New breeding technologies; Speed breeding; Underutilized crop; Genetic gains
Year of Publication2022
JournalFrontiers in Genetics
Journal citation13, p. 999207
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2022.999207
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderRothamsted Research
Funder project or codeUnderstanding mesocotyl elongation in rice
Publisher's version
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online06 Oct 2022
Publication process dates
Accepted09 Sep 2022
PublisherFrontiers Media SA
ISSN1664-8021

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