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Front Plant Sci. 2018 May 8;9:617. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2018.00617. eCollection 2018.

Application of CRISPR/Cas9 Genome Editing Technology for the Improvement of Crops Cultivated in Tropical Climates: Recent Progress, Prospects, and Challenges.

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Department of Biotechnology, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University, Gazipur, Bangladesh.
Institute of Genetics and Animal Breeding of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Jastrzębiec, Poland.
Division of Genetics, Genomics and Development School of Biosciences, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding, Patuakhali Science and Technology University, Patuakhali, Bangladesh.
National Research Council of Canada, Saskatoon, SK, Canada.
Department of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering Jahangirnagar University Savar, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
National Key Facility for Crop Gene Resources and Genetic Improvement, Institute of Crop Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China.
Extension Service, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, United States.


The world population is expected to increase from 7.3 to 9.7 billion by 2050. Pest outbreak and increased abiotic stresses due to climate change pose a high risk to tropical crop production. Although conventional breeding techniques have significantly increased crop production and yield, new approaches are required to further improve crop production in order to meet the global growing demand for food. The Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)/Cas9 (CRISPR-associated protein9) genome editing technology has shown great promise for quickly addressing emerging challenges in agriculture. It can be used to precisely modify genome sequence of any organism including plants to achieve the desired trait. Compared to other genome editing tools such as zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs) and transcriptional activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs), CRISPR/Cas9 is faster, cheaper, precise and highly efficient in editing genomes even at the multiplex level. Application of CRISPR/Cas9 technology in editing the plant genome is emerging rapidly. The CRISPR/Cas9 is becoming a user-friendly tool for development of non-transgenic genome edited crop plants to counteract harmful effects from climate change and ensure future food security of increasing population in tropical countries. This review updates current knowledge and potentials of CRISPR/Cas9 for improvement of crops cultivated in tropical climates to gain resiliency against emerging pests and abiotic stresses.


CRISPR/Cas9; blast; climate change; disease; food security; genetic engineering; genome editing; tropical crops

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