Publication from PlantEd WG2 in Plant Cell Reports

A team from PlantEd WG has published a review “Targeted plant improvement through genome editing: From lab to field”, with financial support from the Action.

Miladinovic D, Antunes M, Yildirim K, Bakhsh A, Cvejic S, Kondic-Spika A, Jeromela A, Opsahl-Sorteberg H-G, Zambounis A and Hilioti Z (2021). Targeted plant improvement through genome editing: from lab to field. Plant Cell Reports, 2021, https://doi.org/10.1007

Climate change and population explosion challenge the world’s food supply. The intensification of agricultural production to meet food demands resulted in loss of plant diversity and environmental pollution because of management practices. Currently, there is a dire need to develop crop plants that have higher yield, feed, fiber, nutrients, health-related compounds, value-added products, and bioenergy-related materials. At the same time there is a need to develop crops that adapt to climatic change and have increased tolerance to abiotic and biotic stress.  Plant researchers of this COST action sought to connect recent advances in genome editing technologies in plant research with their resulting products in a review published in Plant Cell Reports.

Genetic diversity of plants may hold the key to identify superior plants best able to cope with changing conditions. Unlike early genetic engineering techniques, genome editing offers an array of important tools to make safe and precise alterations in genomic DNA at defined locations in short relatively time, increasing thus, local genetic diversity in a desired genetic background for the study and improvement of crop plants with enhanced traits and performance. The field of genome editing has forged ahead, and this review highlights important applications of genome editing tools in plants that enabled exploration of a wide range of novel gene functions. The review is suitable for an audience with expertise in a range of related disciplines like genetics, biotechnology, molecular biology, horticulture but also for other disciplines related to the marketing and promotion of agricultural products.

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