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Hotter, drier, CRISPR: the latest edit on climate change

Abstract

Key message

Integrating CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing into modern breeding programs for crop improvement in cereals.

Abstract

Global climate trends in many agricultural regions have been rapidly changing over the past decades, and major advances in global food systems are required to ensure food security in the face of these emerging challenges. With increasing climate instability due to warmer temperatures and rising CO2 levels, the productivity of global agriculture will continue to be negatively impacted. To combat these growing concerns, creative approaches will be required, utilising all the tools available to produce more robust and tolerant crops with increased quality and yields under more extreme conditions. The integration of genome editing and transgenics into current breeding strategies is one promising solution to accelerate genetic gains through targeted genetic modifications, producing crops that can overcome the shifting climate realities. This review focuses on how revolutionary genome editing tools can be directly implemented into breeding programs for cereal crop improvement to rapidly counteract many of the issues affecting agriculture production in the years to come.

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Data availability

Not applicable, all data is cited within article and there is no material to be made available.

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This was funded through a grant from the Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project (ID: DP190102185) entitled “Cereal blueprints for a water-limited world”.

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Massel, K., Lam, Y., Wong, A.C.S. et al. Hotter, drier, CRISPR: the latest edit on climate change. Theor Appl Genet 134, 1691–1709 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00122-020-03764-0

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