The Future of CRISPR Technologies in Agriculture

 Kritika WIlliams
Kritika WIlliams
The Future of CRISPR Technologies in Agriculture
The Future of CRISPR Technologies in Agriculture

It is believed that CRISPR (Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) can have a positive impact on food production, quality, and environmental sustainability. This will be even more important as the world's population continues to grow, and less arable land and fewer water resources are available to grow crops, in part because of climate change.

In addition to the aforementioned opportunities, genetic planning also has the potential to reduce the inputs needed to produce food, improve our green energy production (especially from biodiesel), and provide a way to combat climate change through improved carbon intake. While CRISPR has the potential to cure some diseases, studies have shown that it can lead to genetic mutations that lead to some downsizing. If genetic engineering is performed in embryos, eggs, or sperm cells, these changes will benefit all future generations.

CRISPR-Cas technology is an excellent genome editing tool that has been used to improve the characteristics of important agricultural plants, such as quality, disease resistance, and resistance to herbicides.

CRISPR technology and its variants have been used in plant science applications from genetic research and local protein synthesis to the introduction of desirable features such as drought tolerance and increased grain size and number. Farmers have been breeding plants with animals to produce traits that make them better and more sustainable. Often using the DNA of a plant or animal, scientists use genetic engineering techniques to make specific changes that would have been possible with traditional breeding but would have taken longer.

A key strength of CRISPR-based breeding is that it allows for the highly targeted development of plant species. After several years of development, CRISPR has become a mature enough technology to deliver the crops we need in the future, in a safe and controlled manner. Where the same type of traditional crop rotation can take between seven and ten years (if possible), it can now be done within two to four years.


To alter a specific DNA sequence, the CRISPR system relies on a DNA-cutting enzyme (endonuclease) that is directed to a specific sequence using the RNA (gRNA) index. By cutting and later modifying DNA, sequences can be altered in the way you want. 3 essential steps are required

To find the right sequence: -

gRNA drives CRISPR's first step: finding the right DNA sequence in a cell genome. One part of the gRNA sequence can be programmed to fit into the corresponding sequence in the genome DNA. This then directs the cutting enzyme anywhere in the genome where this visible motif is located. If the selected sequence is sufficiently different from the genome, this area will be the only target site.

Cutting out the intended DNA sequence: -

When gRNA binds to the DNA of the genome, the related endonuclease initiates the second step of the CRISPR process: cutting out the intended DNA motif. It tears down both strands of DNA to create open sequences for genes.

Replacing (and replacing) a broken DNA strand: -

In the final step of CRISPR, the cell itself performs genetic engineering. DNA breakdowns occur naturally all the time. As these can be dangerous, the cell has its repair programs in place. We use these natural repair programs to repair and edit the deliberately cut DNA.

CRISPR Foods:-

The ability to regulate CRISPR genes in plants has led to growth in research and the production of modified foods. Experts estimate that we will be eating CRISPR-modified foods within 5-10 years.

Six CRISPR Plants Are Already In Action:

  • CRISPR tomatoes: wild and groundcherry

To build dense vegetation with small horizontal trees, large fruits that can ripen at the same time, high levels of vitamin C, resistance to bacterial pathogens, fruit that always sticks to its trunk better, resistance to salt, and more. Production development in genes that control plant size, tomato size, how much fruit is produced, and plant structure.

  • CRISPR mushrooms: stop being brown

  • CRISPR rice: to improve yields

Improve the crop yields of rice, it is the staple food of most of the world's population, yet easily affected by adverse environmental factors. Mutations in the genetic family are involved in the absorption of abscisic acid, and photochromic that affect plant growth and stress responses. The lower set of genetic mutations in certain gene groups resulted in 25–31% grain growth in 2 experiments conducted in Shanghai and Hainan Island, China.

CRISPR citrus fruits: saving oranges from planting

Oranges and other citrus foods are at risk of deterioration due to the “orange green” disease. CRISPR can create resistance to the disease, and save the industry from complete collapse. Studies have already proven that CRISPR-Cas9 configurations can be used to classify orange varieties. Current research uses CRISPR to classify the citrus genome, especially oranges, and to use engineered viruses to attack C. Liberibacter before infecting new plants.

  • CRISPR chocolate: saving cucumber trees

  • CRISPR wheat: removal of gluten

To form gluten-free wheat fibers, which allows those with Celiac disease to eat wheat varieties without the immune system? 85% reduction in immunoreactivity, and successful mutation of 35/45 genes of wild wheat to produce a stable, low gluten-free wheat variety.

General Challenges of CRISPR Cultivation in Conquering Agriculture:

The development of CRISPR in agriculture provides a safe way for people to deal with the many threats to their crops and production. Some of these threats are small, but if left unchecked, they can lead to very high food yields and reduced food waste. Other dangers are more extreme, including widespread famine.

Here are the major problems the application of CRISPR science can begin to solve in the agricultural world:

Weather resistance -

During each growing season, many plants are lost due to bad weather. CRISPR can make plants more resistant to rain, wind, and storms, which can help increase yields at the end of the season.

Drought resistance -

Like most rains, a lack of water causes many crops and livestock to lose. Drought-resistant animals will increase yields.

Insect resistance -

Insects and other insects destroy many plants; small changes in a plant's genetic makeup may prevent it from being damaged by the common pests.

Eliminate the use of pesticides worldwide -

Pesticides also release toxins that are toxic to certain organisms while trying to protect others. With CRISPR, we can reduce or significantly reduce the number of pesticides used.

Difference between CRISPR crop & GM (genetically modified) crop


GM (genetically modified) crop

Highly accurate - targeted gene editing in the exact spot where a change is needed in the genome

Less accurate - the change is initiated in a random location in the genome

DNA is native - DNA that is already a part of the organism is removed (cut out) or altered (edited)

Example: You rewrite an organism’s genetic code to make it less susceptible to pests

DNA can be exotic - the genes placed in the genome may be synthetic or taken from another species

Example: You transfer genes from one species to another to endow the organism with pest resistance

The alteration could have occurred naturally through evolution

Example: A cow developing resistance to tuberculosis

The alteration would never have happened naturally through evolution

Example: A cow developing wings and learning to fly


  • Mulepati S, Héroux A, Bailey S (2014). "Crystal structure of a CRISPR RNA–guided surveillance complex bound to an ssDNA target". Science. 345 (6203): 1479–1484. Bibcode: 2014Sci...345.1479M

  • Chen, K., Wang, Y., Zhang, R., Zhang, H. & Gao, C. CRISPR/Cas genome editing and precision plant breeding in agriculture. Annu. Rev. Plant Biol. 70, 667–697 (2019).

  • Puchta, H., Dujon, B. & Hohn, B. Homologous recombination in plant cells is enhanced by in vivo induction of double-strand breaks into DNA by a site-specific endonuclease. Nucleic Acids Res. 21, 5034–5040 (1993).

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