Cellular and molecular life sciences : CMLS

Heritability of targeted gene modifications induced by plant-optimized CRISPR systems.

PMID 27677493


The Streptococcus-derived CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats)/Cas9 (CRISPR-associated protein 9) system has emerged as a very powerful tool for targeted gene modifications in many living organisms including plants. Since the first application of this system for plant gene modification in 2013, this RNA-guided DNA endonuclease system has been extensively engineered to meet the requirements of functional genomics and crop trait improvement in a number of plant species. Given its short history, the emphasis of many studies has been the optimization of the technology to improve its reliability and efficiency to generate heritable gene modifications in plants. Here we review and analyze the features of customized CRISPR/Cas9 systems developed for plant genetic studies and crop breeding. We focus on two essential aspects: the heritability of gene modifications induced by CRISPR/Cas9 and the factors affecting its efficiency, and we provide strategies for future design of systems with improved activity and heritability in plants.