Genome editing is the precise alteration of DNA in living cells by the cutting or removal of specific sequences, sometimes followed by insertion of new sequences at the cut site. CRISPR–Cas9 has become firmly established as the genome-editing method of choice, replacing the systems that had been developed and in use since the early 1990s. The CRISPR–Cas9 system has been developed from a mechanism used in prokaryotes as a defence against bacteriophage but actually functions in cells of all types of organisms. It is widely used in research as a gene knockout and editing tool; applications in veterinary medicine (such as increased resistance to disease) and human medicine (such as correction of disease-causing mutations) are under development. In agriculture and horticulture, the potential for various aspects of crop improvement is very large. Selected aspects of this potential are presented here, with particular focus on crop quality and disease resistance. The article ends with a brief discussion of the regulatory ‘environment’ in the USA and the EU.
Portland Press would like to thank Dr Silvia Camporesi (Kings College London) for her input into the initial discussions around some of the concepts covered in this issue of Emerging Topics in Life Sciences, and for securing some of the contributors and content.
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Review Article| November 15 2019
From bacterial battles to CRISPR crops; progress towards agricultural applications of genome editing
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John A. Bryant; From bacterial battles to CRISPR crops; progress towards agricultural applications of genome editing. Emerg Top Life Sci 27 November 2019; 3 (6): 687–693. doi: https://doi.org/10.1042/ETLS20190065
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