Navigation Links
UMD Assistant Professor Releases Comprehensive Nature Plants Review of Current State and Future of CRISPR Technology in Crops, Exploring Applications Beyond Gene Editing
Date:7/17/2019

CRISPR is often thought of as “molecular scissors” used for precision breeding to cut DNA so that a certain trait can be removed, replaced, or edited, but Yiping Qi, assistant professor in Plant Science & Landscape Architecture at the University of Maryland, is looking far beyond these traditional applications in his latest publication in Nature Plants. In this comprehensive review, Qi and coauthors in his lab explore the current state of CRISPR in crops, and how scientists can use CRISPR to enhance traditional breeding techniques in nontraditional ways, with the goal of ensuring global food and nutritional security and feeding a growing population in the face of climate change, diseases, and pests.

With this new paper, Qi highlights recent achievements in applying CRISPR to crop breeding and ways in which these tools have been combined with other breeding methods to achieve goals that may not have been possible in the past. He aims to give a glimpse of what CRISPR holds for the future, beyond the scope of basic gene editing.

“When people think of CRISPR, they think of genome editing, but in fact CRISPR is really a versatile system that allows you to home in on a lot of things to target, recruit, or promote certain aspects already in the DNA,” says Qi. “You can regulate activation or suppression of certain genes by using CRISPR not as a cutting tool, but instead as a binding tool to attract activators or repressors to induce traits.”

Additionally, Qi discusses the prospect of recruiting proteins that can help to visualize DNA sequences, and the potential for grouping desirable traits together in the genome. “I call this gene shuffling,” says Qi. “This is designed to move very important trait genes close to each other to physically and genetically link them so they always stick together in traditional crossbreeding, making it much easier to select for crops with all the traits you want.”

These are just some of the examples of future directions Qi hopes to cultivate and draw more attention to with this paper. “I hope this review [in Nature Plants] will open eyes to show that there is a lot to be offered by CRISPR, going beyond the current status of genome editing, but also outside of just editing to see where the whole field can lead down the road.”

This includes the process of taking CRISPR applications in animals and humans and applying them to crops in ways that haven’t been done before. For example, CRISPR technology has already enhanced screenings for genes and traits in human health by using a library of tens of thousands of guide molecules that are tailored for targeting selected gene sets at the genome scale. This system could be potentially used in plants to screen for traits that contribute to disease and pest resistance, resiliency, and crop yield. “This not only helps with breeding, but also helps categorize gene functioning much more easily,” says Qi. “Mostly, these studies have been done in human cells, and crops are lagging behind. I see that as one future aspect of where plant science can harness some of these different applications, and my lab has already been doing some of this work.”

Qi’s lab has published multiple original research papers this year that highlight some of the differences for CRISPR applications in human and plant cells. Earlier this year in Molecular Plant, Qi, his graduate student, interns, and collaborators published findings testing the targeting scope and specificity of multiple CRISPR Cas9 variants. Qi’s team sought to prove or disprove claims made in humans about the fidelity and specificity of these tools in rice. “Not all claims that are made for CRISPR functionality in humans and animals are going to be true or applicable in plants, so we are looking at what works and what we can do to optimize these tools for crops.”

Another recent paper in BMC Biology as part of a collaborative research effort investigated temperature as a method of improving efficiency of CRISPR Cas12a genome editing in rice, maize, and Arabidopsis, which was found to need higher than ambient temperatures to boost editing efficiency. “Human cells are always maintained at higher temperature which may be optimal for CRISPR to work, but is pretty hot for plants,” says Qi. “We have to explore how that temperature plays a role for CRISPR applications in other species.”

Qi also published the first ever book dedicated entirely to Plant Genome Editing with CRISPR Systems, highlighting cutting-edge methods and protocols for working with CRISPR in a variety of crops.

“This book is really gathering together specific applications for many different plant systems, such as rice, maize, soybeans, tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, carrots - you name it - so that people working in their own plant of interest may find some chapters quite relevant. It is designed as a protocol book for use in the lab, so that anybody new to the field should be able to figure out how to work with CRISPR in their particular plant.” Qi was contacted by the publisher in the United Kingdom, Humana Press, to produce and edit the book. It was released earlier this year as part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series, a prominent and respected series in the field.

“How to feed the world down the road - that’s what motivates me every day to come to work,” says Qi. “We will have 10 billion people by 2050, and how can we sustain crop improvement to feed more people sustainably with climate change and less land? I really think that technology should play a big role in that.”

Qi’s latest review paper, entitled “The emerging and uncultivated potential of CRISPR technology in plant science,” can be found in Nature Plants, DOI: 10.1038/s41477-019-0461-5.

Read the full story at https://www.prweb.com/releases/umd_assistant_professor_releases_comprehensive_nature_plants_review_of_current_state_and_future_of_crispr_technology_in_crops_exploring_applications_beyond_gene_editing/prweb16441101.htm.


'/>"/>
Source: PRWeb
Copyright©2019 Vocus, Inc.
All rights reserved


Related biology technology :

1. Douglas Harrington, MD Speaks At American Academy Of Physicians Assistants 2013 Conference In Washington, DC
2. Professor Jeremy Nicholson to Deliver Wallace H. Coulter Lecture at Pittcon 2018
3. Professor Ikhlas Khan Receives 2016 ABC Mark Blumenthal Community Builder Award
4. Two Worcester Polytechnic Institute Professors Are Elected Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
5. KGI Professor Animesh Ray Granted Funding by the Department of Defense for Research on Lung Cancer Drug Resistance
6. Worcester Polytechnic Institute Professor Suzanne Scarlata Elected President of the Biophysical Society
7. Professor John T. Arnason Receives 2015 ABC Norman R. Farnsworth Excellence in Botanical Research Award
8. Worcester Polytechnic Institute Professor Receives the KEEN 2015 Outstanding Faculty Award
9. Engineering Researcher and Professor Uses Maplesoft Technology to Improve Labor Techniques and Study Energy Regeneration in Rehabilitative Devices
10. The Prix Galien USA Awards Committee Selects Professor Mary-Claire King as 2015 Pro Bono Humanum Honoree
11. New Jersey Health Foundation Awards $50,000 Innovation Grant To Stevens Institute of Technology Associate Professor
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/11/2019)... BETHESDA, Md. and ROANOKE, Va. (PRWEB) , ... ... ... virtual care optimized for microlearning engagement, and Carilion Clinic, a national leader in ... leveraging the latest in virtual care. , Mytonomy recently deployed its ...
(Date:6/11/2019)... ... June 11, 2019 , ... A study ... stem cells (MSC-EV) are able to incorporate into human CD34+ cells, modifying their ... mice, MSC-EVs also increased the cells’ ability to lodge into bone marrow. This ...
(Date:5/31/2019)... ... May 29, 2019 , ... For many years, the primary forms of ... demand breakthrough therapies. Advances in immuno-oncology have led to the advent of Chimeric Antigen ... engineered T cell receptors known as “CARs”. The CAR enables the final product to ...
(Date:5/31/2019)... ... May 30, 2019 , ... ... on Data Integrity on July 08-09, 2019 in Boston, MA. This peer recommended ... medical device organizations. , The training will kick off with a compendial treatment ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:7/23/2019)... (PRWEB) , ... July 23, 2019 , ... ... provides personalized, easy-to-understand, web-based genetic counseling, today announced that the company has expanded ... to MUTYH-associated polyposis (MAP), familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), and Parkinson’s disease. , The expanded ...
(Date:7/19/2019)... ... 2019 , ... VetStem Biopharma has long been a leader in ... result of a two-year research collaboration with Calidi Biotherapeutics, VetStem has signed a worldwide ... VetStem should be able to fast-track this cancer therapy for use in dogs ...
(Date:7/17/2019)... Pa. (PRWEB) , ... July 15, 2019 , ... ... of computational science expertise exclusively for Life Sciences and Healthcare companies, announces the ... provide critical advisory services and strategic direction to start-up and emerging bio-pharma companies ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):