The large French research project GENIUS (2012–2019, https://www6.inra.genius-project_eng/) provides a good showcase of current genome editing techniques applied to crop plants. It addresses a large variety of agricultural species (rice, wheat, maize, tomato, potato, oilseed rape, poplar, apple and rose) together with some models (Arabidopsis, Brachypodium, Physcomitrella). Using targeted mutagenesis as its work horse, the project is limited to proof of concept under confined conditions. It mainly covers traits linked to crop culture, such as disease resistance to viruses and fungi, flowering time, plant architecture, tolerance to salinity and plant reproduction but also addresses traits improving the quality of agricultural products for industrial purposes. Examples include virus resistant tomato, early flowering apple and low-amylose starch potato. The wide range of traits illustrates the potential of genome editing towards a more sustainable agriculture through the reduction of pesticides and to the emergence of innovative bio-economy sectors based on custom tailored quality traits.
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This work was funded by the Investissement d’Avenir program of the French National Agency of Research for the Project GENIUS (ANR-11-BTBR-0001_GENIUS). The IJPB benefits from the support of the LabEx Saclay Plant Sciences-SPS (ANR-10-LABX-0040-SPS).
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Nogué, F., Vergne, P., Chèvre, AM. et al. Crop plants with improved culture and quality traits for food, feed and other uses. Transgenic Res 28, 65–73 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11248-019-00135-4
- Genome editing
- New plant breeding techniques