Transgenic and genome-edited fruits: background, constraints, benefits, and commercial opportunities

2021 ◽  
Vol 8 (1) ◽  
Maria Lobato-Gómez ◽  
Seanna Hewitt ◽  
Teresa Capell ◽  
Paul Christou ◽  
Amit Dhingra ◽  

AbstractBreeding has been used successfully for many years in the fruit industry, giving rise to most of today’s commercial fruit cultivars. More recently, new molecular breeding techniques have addressed some of the constraints of conventional breeding. However, the development and commercial introduction of such novel fruits has been slow and limited with only five genetically engineered fruits currently produced as commercial varieties—virus-resistant papaya and squash were commercialized 25 years ago, whereas insect-resistant eggplant, non-browning apple, and pink-fleshed pineapple have been approved for commercialization within the last 6 years and production continues to increase every year. Advances in molecular genetics, particularly the new wave of genome editing technologies, provide opportunities to develop new fruit cultivars more rapidly. Our review, emphasizes the socioeconomic impact of current commercial fruit cultivars developed by genetic engineering and the potential impact of genome editing on the development of improved cultivars at an accelerated rate.

2020 ◽  
Vol 01 ◽  
Bishajit Sarkar ◽  
Fayza Akter ◽  
Fatema Tuz Johora ◽  
Md. Asad Ullah ◽  
Abdullah Mohammad Shohael

Background: Micronutrient deficiencies are serious health issues in developing countries of Asia and Africa, where millions of people are suffering from inadequate micronutrient intake. In Bangladesh, micronutrient deficiencies are found severe due to low income, food habits, and rice-based staple food consumption, (rice has an insufficiency of different types of vitamins and minerals). To lessen micronutrient malnutrition, supplementation has been employed but has not yet reached the goal. Agronomic and genetic biofortification has the potential to address micronutrient deficiencies. Biofortification in Rice grain is a convenient and affordable way to supply the desired micronutrients. The development of micronutrient-rich popular rice cultivars through conventional breeding is currently being harnessed for the limitation of natural resources of the related donor rice cultivars containing the required amount of micronutrients. To overcome these hurdles of conventional breeding, genetic engineering and genome editing have emerged as promising tools of micronutrient biofortification in rice. Methods: Identify the needs and explore the potential strategies by the search for relevant literature known to the authors was carried out to complete this review. Results: Highlighted here the sources, functions, and requirements of iron, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B9, and betanin in rice and their biofortification through conventional breeding, genetic engineering, and genome editing including their promises and hindrances. Conclusion: New breeding techniques are timely alternatives for developing nutrient-rich rice cultivars to eliminate hidden hunger and poverty in Bangladesh.

2021 ◽  
Vol 33 (1) ◽  
Katharina Kawall

Abstract‘Genome editing’ is intended to accelerate modern plant breeding enabling a much faster and more efficient development of crops with improved traits such as increased yield, altered nutritional composition, as well as resistance to factors of biotic and abiotic stress. These traits are often generated by site-directed nuclease-1 (SDN-1) applications that induce small, targeted changes in the plant genomes. These intended alterations can be combined in a way to generate plants with genomes that are altered on a larger scale than it is possible with conventional breeding techniques. The power and the potential of genome editing comes from its highly effective mode of action being able to generate different allelic combinations of genes, creating, at its most efficient, homozygous gene knockouts. Additionally, multiple copies of functional genes can be targeted all at once. This is especially relevant in polyploid plants such as Camelina sativa which contain complex genomes with multiple chromosome sets. Intended alterations induced by genome editing have potential to unintentionally alter the composition of a plant and/or interfere with its metabolism, e.g., with the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites such as phytohormones or other biomolecules. This could affect diverse defense mechanisms and inter-/intra-specific communication of plants having a direct impact on associated ecosystems. This review focuses on the intended alterations in crops mediated by SDN-1 applications, the generation of novel genotypes and the ecological effects emerging from these intended alterations. Genome editing applications in C. sativa are used to exemplify these issues in a crop with a complex genome. C. sativa is mainly altered in its fatty acid biosynthesis and used as an oilseed crop to produce biofuels.

2020 ◽  
Vol 71 (1) ◽  
pp. 659-687 ◽  
Rebecca Mackelprang ◽  
Peggy G. Lemaux

Genetic engineering is a molecular biology technique that enables a gene or genes to be inserted into a plant's genome. The first genetically engineered plants were grown commercially in 1996, and the most common genetically engineered traits are herbicide and insect resistance. Questions and concerns have been raised about the effects of these traits on the environment and human health, many of which are addressed in a pair of 2008 and 2009 Annual Review of Plant Biology articles. As new science is published and new techniques like genome editing emerge, reanalysis of some of these issues, and a look at emerging issues, is warranted. Herein, an analysis of relevant scientific literature is used to present a scientific perspective on selected topics related to genetic engineering and genome editing.

2019 ◽  
Vol 19 (4) ◽  
pp. 601-615
Kevin Wilger ◽  

Genetic engineering is a rapidly evolving field of research with potentially powerful therapeutic applications. The technology CRISPR-Cas9 not only has improved the accuracy and overall feasbility of genome editing but also has increased access to users by lowering cost and increasing usability and speed. The potential benefits of genetic engineering may come with an increased risk of off-target events or carcinogenic growth. Germ-line cell therapy may also pose risks to potential progeny and thus have an additional burden of proof for safety. Persons responsible for evaluating the ethics of genetic-engineering research programs or clinical trials should do so in light of the nature, integrity, and totality of the human person. Recent news of the implantation and birth of genetically engineered human embryos is just one example of increased rogue science. Health care institutions should consider what steps can be taken to prevent or slow this trend.

F1000Research ◽  
2019 ◽  
Vol 8 ◽  
pp. 1934 ◽  
Anuj Sharma ◽  
Jeffrey B. Jones ◽  
Frank F. White

Approaches to manipulating disease resistance in plants is expanding exponentially due to advances in our understanding of plant defense mechanisms and new tools for manipulating the plant genome. The application of effective strategies is only limited now by adoption of rapid classical genetic techniques and the acceptance of genetically engineered traits for some problems. The use of genome editing and cis-genetics, where possible, may facilitate applications that otherwise require considerable time or genetic engineering, depending on settling legal definitions of the products. Nonetheless, the variety of approaches to developing disease resistance has never been greater.

2019 ◽  

New plant breeding techniques such as CRISPR/Cas have the potential to improve sustainability in agriculture. Genome editing techniques can increase yields while reducing the use of pesticides. Researchers around the world are working on improving the nutritional value of plants. However, whether the new technologies will be used in Europe is uncertain at present. Should genome editing be regulated like the ‘old’ genetic engineering techniques used on plants? What might a responsible interpretation of the precautionary principle look like? The political discussion on the evaluation of new plant breeding technologies is in full swing. The contributions in this anthology present the legal, social and ethical aspects of the topic that were discussed at a summer school of the Institute of Technology-Theology-Natural Sciences (TTN) at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. With contributions from Stephan Schleissing; Sebastian Pfeilmeier; Christian Dürnberger; Jarst van Belle; Jan Schaart; Robert van Loo; Katharina Unkel; Thorben Sprink; Aurélie Jouanin; Marinus J.M. Smulders; Hans-Georg Dederer; Brigitte Voigt; Felix Beck; João Otávio Benevides Demasi; Bartosz Bartkowski; Chad M. Baum; Alexander Bogner; Helge Torgersen; Sebastian Schubert; Anne Friederike Hoffmann; Ksenia Gerasimova; Karolina Rucinska

2015 ◽  
Vol 5 (1) ◽  
pp. 565-573
Andekelile Mwamahonje ◽  
Deusdedit Kilambo ◽  
Leon Mrosso ◽  
Tileye Feyissa

Genetic improvement of grape cultivars to obtain high quality wine and table grape varieties by conventional breeding methods has been difficult and time consuming. The elite grape varieties developed by conventional breeding techniques have less resistance to fungal and bacterial diseases, drought, quality and yield per plant. Breeding programs of grapes are difficult due to lack of true bred from seed and few traits of importance. Though most grapes constitute large number of genes, they have less effect in tolerating biotic and abiotic stresses. Genetic improvement of grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) through application of biotechnological techniques provide new strategies in grape breeding programs based on rapid selection or induction of desired traits by marker assisted breeding, genetic engineering and plant tissue culture. This review paper therefore, aims to discuss biotechnological techniques proposed for improvement of grape breeding.

2019 ◽  
Vol 36 (7) ◽  
pp. 2001-2008 ◽  
Samuele Cancellieri ◽  
Matthew C Canver ◽  
Nicola Bombieri ◽  
Rosalba Giugno ◽  
Luca Pinello

ABSTRACT Motivation Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) technologies allow for facile genomic modification in a site-specific manner. A key step in this process is the in silico design of single guide RNAs to efficiently and specifically target a site of interest. To this end, it is necessary to enumerate all potential off-target sites within a given genome that could be inadvertently altered by nuclease-mediated cleavage. Currently available software for this task is limited by computational efficiency, variant support or annotation, and assessment of the functional impact of potential off-target effects. Results To overcome these limitations, we have developed CRISPRitz, a suite of software tools to support the design and analysis of CRISPR/CRISPR-associated (Cas) experiments. Using efficient data structures combined with parallel computation, we offer a rapid, reliable, and exhaustive search mechanism to enumerate a comprehensive list of putative off-target sites. As proof-of-principle, we performed a head-to-head comparison with other available tools on several datasets. This analysis highlighted the unique features and superior computational performance of CRISPRitz including support for genomic searching with DNA/RNA bulges and mismatches of arbitrary size as specified by the user as well as consideration of genetic variants (variant-aware). In addition, graphical reports are offered for coding and non-coding regions that annotate the potential impact of putative off-target sites that lie within regions of functional genomic annotation (e.g. insulator and chromatin accessible sites from the ENCyclopedia Of DNA Elements [ENCODE] project). Availability and implementation The software is freely available at: Supplementary information Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

BioScience ◽  
2019 ◽  
Vol 69 (9) ◽  
pp. 746-756 ◽  
Allison A Snow

Abstract Genetic engineering of wild populations has been proposed for reducing human diseases by altering pathogens’ hosts. For example, CRISPR-based genome editing may be used to create white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) that are resistant to the Lyme disease spirochete vectored by blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis). Toward this goal, academic researchers are developing Lyme-resistant and tick-resistant white-footed mice, which are a primary pathogen reservoir for Lyme disease in the United States. If field trials on small, experimental islands are successful, the project would scale up to the larger islands of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, and possibly to the mainland, most likely with a local gene drive to speed the traits’ proliferation, pending approvals from relevant constituents. Despite considerable publicity, this project has yet to be evaluated by independent professional ecologists. In the present article, I discuss key ecological and evolutionary questions that should be considered before such genetically engineered mice are released into natural habitats.

2015 ◽  
Vol 1 (3) ◽  
pp. e1500248 ◽  
Valmik K. Vyas ◽  
M. Inmaculada Barrasa ◽  
Gerald R. Fink

Candida albicansis a pathogenic yeast that causes mucosal and systematic infections with high mortality. The absence of facile molecular genetics has been a major impediment to analysis of pathogenesis. The lack of meiosis coupled with the absence of plasmids makes genetic engineering cumbersome, especially for essential functions and gene families. We describe aC. albicansCRISPR system that overcomes many of the obstacles to genetic engineering in this organism. The high frequency with which CRISPR-induced mutations can be directed to target genes enables easy isolation of homozygous gene knockouts, even without selection. Moreover, the system permits the creation of strains with mutations in multiple genes, gene families, and genes that encode essential functions. This CRISPR system is also effective in a fresh clinical isolate of undetermined ploidy. Our method transforms the ability to manipulate the genome ofCandidaand provides a new window into the biology of this pathogen.

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