Plant Cell Reports

, Volume 35, Issue 7, pp 1451–1468

The expanding footprint of CRISPR/Cas9 in the plant sciences


DOI: 10.1007/s00299-016-1987-x

Cite this article as:
Schaeffer, S.M. & Nakata, P.A. Plant Cell Rep (2016) 35: 1451. doi:10.1007/s00299-016-1987-x


CRISPR/Cas9 has evolved and transformed the field of biology at an unprecedented pace. From the initial purpose of introducing a site specific mutation within a genome of choice, this technology has morphed into enabling a wide array of molecular applications, including site-specific transgene insertion and multiplexing for the simultaneous induction of multiple cleavage events. Efficiency, specificity, and flexibility are key attributes that have solidified CRISPR/Cas9 as the genome-editing tool of choice by scientists from all areas of biology. Within the field of plant biology, several CRISPR/Cas9 technologies, developed in other biological systems, have been successfully implemented to probe plant gene function and to modify specific crop traits. It is anticipated that this trend will persist and lead to the development of new applications and modifications of the CRISPR technology, adding to an ever-expanding collection of genome-editing tools. We envision that these tools will bestow plant researchers with new utilities to alter genome complexity, engineer site-specific integration events, control gene expression, generate transgene-free edited crops, and prevent or cure plant viral disease. The successful implementation of such utilities will represent a new frontier in plant biotechnology.


Cas9 CRISPR Crop improvement Gene editing Gene knock-in Functional genomics 



Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats


CRISPR-associated protein 9


Dead Cas9


Protospacer adjacent motif




Single guide RNA


Transcription activator-like effector nuclease

Funding information

Funder NameGrant NumberFunding Note
Agricultural Research Service
  • 58-3092-5-001

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg (outside the USA) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of MedicineUSDA/ARS Children’s Nutrition Research CenterHoustonUSA

Personalised recommendations