A group of researchers led by the Innovative Genomics Institute aims to enhance plant crops, initially rice, and soil using CRISPR to make them better at trapping carbon dioxide.
The project will use CRISPR gene editing to make photosynthesis more efficient improving plants’ capacity to capture CO2 and develop crops with longer roots to enable them to deposit the carbon deeper into the soil where it will not be easily released back into the atmosphere again.
Researchers will also boost the soil’s capacity to store, rather than release, greenhouse gasses.
Read the story @The Verge
More on using CRISPR and other modern breeding technologies for crop improvement:
New gene metrics eliminate hit-or-miss in emerging rice breeding technologies
Smallholder farmers face an increasingly complex rice production system because of extreme events like drought, flood, or rising sea levels caused by climate change. To protect farmers from the effects of climate change and help them adapt to commercializing their production systems, IRRI explores innovative approaches in breeding programs to efficiently develop new and improved varieties that produce high yields while surviving in harsh environments.
CRISPR-Cas system: Revolutionizing the genetic blueprint of rice
One of the most discussed scientific events in today’s world is the discovery and application of the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) system in genome editing. CRISPR is simply a specialized bacterial immune system that scientists have modified into a tool for eliminating or manipulating the set of genetic instructions in animals, plants, and even humans. This tool is easy to use and cheap, which adds more value for this technology for rice scientists working on eliminating or modifying unwanted traits and inserting new traits to improve the crop’s yield, resistance to diseases, and ability to thrive under harsh environmental conditions.
Genome editing: a new tool for rewriting the DNA code
Similar to genetic engineering, genome editing also requires carrier vectors to deliver these tools into plant cells. But, unlike genetically modified organisms, which have attracted a fair amount of controversy, the vectors’ transferred DNA will eventually be eliminated during allele separation in the next generations. Thus, any crop mutation generated in this way is no different from crop mutations occurring naturally or induced via mutagens.