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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Wooster, Ohio » Corn, Soybean and Wheat Quality Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #390327

Research Project: Control of Virus Diseases in Corn and Soybean

Location: Corn, Soybean and Wheat Quality Research

Title: VIGE: virus-induced genome editing for improving abiotic and biotic stress traits in plants

item GENTZEL, IRENE - The Ohio State University
item Ohlson, Erik
item Redinbaugh, Margaret - Peg
item WANG, GUO-LIANG - The Ohio State University

Submitted to: Stress Biology
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/12/2021
Publication Date: 1/7/2022
Citation: Gentzel, I.N., Ohlson, E.W., Redinbaugh, M.G., Wang, G. 2022. VIGE: virus-induced genome editing for improving abiotic and biotic stress traits in plants. Stress Biology. 2, Article 2.

Interpretive Summary: Crop diseases, pests, and environmental stresses present major concerns for agricultural production worldwide. Thus, the development of improved crop cultivars with resistance or tolerance to these biotic and abiotic constraints is desirable. Traditional crop improvement is expensive and time consuming, preventing rapid response to emerging threats of agricultural production. New CRISPR/Cas9 mediated gene editing techniques provide a rapid and precise means for crop improvement, overcoming many of the limitations associated with traditional plant breeding. However, delivering the molecular components required for gene editing to the desired plant is often limited to specific crops or particular varieties within a species due to incompatibility with standard protocols. Plant viruses provide an approach for overcoming some of these limitations. Here we review CRISPR/Cas9 mediated gene editing using viruses as a tool for delivery and some of the advantages and challenges associated with such an approach.

Technical Abstract: Agriculture production is hampered by disease, pests, and environmental stresses. To minimize yield loss, it is important to develop crop cultivars with resistance or tolerance to their respective biotic and abiotic constraints. Transformation techniques are not optimized for many species and desirable cultivars may not be amenable to genetic transformation, necessitating inferior cultivar usage and time-consuming introgression through backcrossing to the preferred variety. Overcoming these limitations will greatly facilitate the development of disease, insect, and abiotic stress tolerant crops. One such avenue for rapid crop improvement is the development of viral systems to deliver CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technology to plants to generate specific and targeted beneficial mutations. Viral delivery of genomic editing constructs can theoretically be applied to span the entire host range of the virus that is used, circumventing the challenges associated with traditional transformation and breeding techniques. Here we explore the types of viruses that have been optimized for CRISPR/Cas9 delivery, the phenotypic outcomes achieved in recent studies, and lastly the future potential of this rapidly advancing technology.