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Front. Plant Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.00550

Harnessing genome editing techniques to engineer disease resistance in plants

 Muntazir Mushtaq1, Aafreen Sakina2, 3,  Shabir H. Wani2, 3*, Asif B. Shikari2,  Prateek Tripathi4,  Abbu Zaid5, Aravind Galla6,  Mostafa Abdelrahman7, Manmohan Sharma1, Anil K. Singh1 and  Romesh K. Salgotra1
  • 1School of Biotechnology, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Jammu, India
  • 2Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, India
  • 3plant breeding /Plant biotechnology, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, India
  • 4Department of Molecular Medicine, The Scripps Research Institute, United States
  • 5Department of Biochemistry, Aligarh Muslim University, India
  • 6University of Arkansas, United States
  • 7Faculty of Science, Aswan University, Egypt

Modern genome editing (GE) techniques, which include clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (CRISPR/Cas9) system, transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs), zinc-finger nucleases (ZFNs) and LAGLIDADG homing endonucleases (meganucleases), have so far been used for engineering disease resistance in crops. . The use of GE technologies has grown very rapidly in recent years with numerous examples of targeted mutagenesis in crop plants, including gene knockouts, knockdowns, modifications, and the repression and activation of target genes. CRISPR/Cas9 supersedes all other GE techniques including TALENs and ZFNs for editing genes owing to its unprecedented efficiency, relative simplicity and low risk of off-target effects . Broad-spectrum disease resistance has been engineered in crops by GE of either specific host-susceptibility genes (S gene approach), or cleaving DNA of phytopathogens (bacteria, virus or fungi) to inhibit their proliferation. This review focuses on different GE techniques that can potentially be used to boost molecular immunity and resistance against different phytopathogens in crops, ultimately leading to the development of promising disease-resistant crop varieties.

Keywords: CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) knockout, homing endonucleases, Genome editing, phytopathogens, Plant disease and stress

Received: 29 Jan 2019; Accepted: 10 Apr 2019.

Edited by:

Joachim H. Schiemann, Julius Kühn-Institut, Germany

Reviewed by:

Vinay Kumar, Central University of Punjab, India
Nikolai M. Adamski, John Innes Centre (JIC), United Kingdom  

Copyright: © 2019 Mushtaq, Sakina, Wani, Shikari, Tripathi, Zaid, Galla, Abdelrahman, Sharma, Singh and Salgotra. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Shabir H. Wani, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, plant breeding /Plant biotechnology, Srinagar, 190025, India, shabirhussainwani@gmail.com