A detailed landscape of CRISPR-Cas-mediated plant disease and pest management

S. Karmakar, P. Das, D. Panda, K. Xie, M. J. Baig and K. A. Molla,  Plant Science,  323:111376. 2022.

Genome editing technology has rapidly evolved to knock-out genes, create targeted genetic variation, install precise insertion/deletion and single nucleotide changes, and perform large-scale alteration. The flexible and multipurpose editing technologies have started playing a substantial role in the field of plant disease management. CRISPR-Cas has reduced many limitations of earlier technologies and emerged as a versatile toolbox for genome manipulation. This review summarizes the phenomenal progress of the use of the CRISPR toolkit in the field of plant pathology. CRISPR-Cas toolbox aids in the basic studies on host-pathogen interaction, in identifying virulence genes in pathogens, deciphering resistance and susceptibility factors in host plants, and engineering host genome for developing resistance. We extensively reviewed the successful genome editing applications for host plant resistance against a wide range of biotic factors, including viruses, fungi, oomycetes, bacteria, nematodes, insect pests, and parasitic plants. Recent use of CRISPR-Cas gene drive to suppress the population of pathogens and pests has also been discussed. Furthermore, we highlight exciting new uses of the CRISPR-Cas system as diagnostic tools, which rapidly detect pathogenic microorganism. This comprehensive yet concise review discusses innumerable strategies to reduce the burden of crop protection.

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