Genome editing and CRISPR – Cas9

Genome editing or gene editing is a group of technologies that has the ability to change an organism’s DNA. These technologies allow genetic material to be added, removed, or altered at particular locations in the genome. Several approaches to genome editing have been developed. A recent one is known as CRISPR-Cas9, which is short form of Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats and CRISPR-associated protein 9. The CRISPR-Cas9 system has generated a lot of excitement in the scientific community because it is faster, cheaper, more accurate, and more efficient than other existing genome editing methods. Rice, was among the first plants to be used to demonstrate the feasibility of CRISPR mediated targeted mutagenesis and gene replacement. The gene editing tool CRISPR can be used to make hybrid rice plants that can clone their seed. Imtiyaz Khand and Venkatesan Sundaresan and colleagues reported in a new study which clearly shows one can re-engineer rice to switch it from a sexual to an asexual mode.

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