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Study Shows CRISPR Mainly Used to Develop High-yielding, Healthier, and Stress-resistant Crops
Posted by: Prof. Dr. M. Raupp (IP Logged)
Date: December 02, 2017 07:58AM

Scientists from France and the U.K. reviewed 52 articles on CRISPR use in
crops published from 2014 to mid-2017 in peer-reviewed journals. The result
is published in Emerging Topics in Life Sciences.

Results showed that 15 crops were studied for CRISPR application, and the
most studied crop is rice, followed by tobacco, Arabidopsis, and corn. Most
of the applications of CRISPR were to improve the yield performance of the
crops, as well as to improve the nutrient content (biofortification) and the
tolerance to abiotic and biotic stresses. For viral disease resistance, the
reviewers observed two main strategies used: the integration of
CRISPR-coding sequence in the host plant genome that targets and interferes
with the virus genome once it is incorporated in the plant to establish a
CRISPR-like immune system in the host genome; and the induction of a
CRISPR-mediated targeted mutation in the host plant genome that will confer
improved virus resistance traits.

In terms of the countries with most studies on CRISPR applications, China
and the U.S. ranked first with 22 (42%) and second with 10 articles (19%),
respectively. Europe, which includes the U.K., Sweden, France, Hungary,
Germany, Austria, and Belgium, had 9 articles (17%) on CRISPR. The other
countries which published articles on CRISPR include Saudi Arabia (5
articles), Turkey (5), South Korea (5), Phillipines (5), India (5), Japan
(4), and Israel (2). According to the authors, this data is consistent with
the globalized economic, regulatory and research contexts and can be partly
explained by the uncertain regulatory framework in Europe that may be
holding back work towards commercial application.


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