CRISPR-Cas9 mediated genome editing in rice, advancements and future possibilities
Rice is an important crop for a large portion of the population of the world, being the main source of food and the agriculture of which is the main source of income. Genome editing being the focal point of research in recent times is now rightly being targeted towards improving the quality of rice. Research using the CRISPR genome editing tools has increased the ability to target and modify rice genes for the development of improved varieties. However, current research is focused on improving even further the efficiency of the CRISPR genome editing tools to successfully edit endogenous rice genes. These studies indicate that genome editing is a successful and feasible venture in rice. Newer developments and improvements of CRIPSR tools have further enabled researchers to modify more genes in rice with increased efficiency. The ability of the CRISPR system to generate transgene free genome edited plants is further reason for continued research as it helps to step past genome modification regulatory issues. The successful application and development of CRISPR tools for genome editing in rice will not only help in making site-specific integration events, but will also help in regulating gene expression, gene discovery, rice functional genomics and creating new improved traits in rice.