From Genome Sequencing to CRISPR-Based Genome Editing for Climate-Resilient Forest Trees
Due to the economic and ecological importance of forest trees, modern breeding and genetic manipulation of forest trees have become increasingly prevalent. The CRISPR-based technology provides a versatile, powerful, and widely accepted tool for analyzing gene function and precise genetic modification in virtually any species but remains largely unexplored in forest species. Rapidly accumulating genetic and genomic resources for forest trees enabled the identification of numerous genes and biological processes that are associated with important traits such as wood quality, drought, or pest resistance, facilitating the selection of suitable gene editing targets. Here, we introduce and discuss the latest progress, opportunities, and challenges of genome sequencing and editing for improving forest sustainability.