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Review

Integrating Omics and Gene Editing Tools for Rapid Improvement of Traditional Food Plants for Diversified and Sustainable Food Security

1
Department of Plant Science, Central University of Kerala, Kasaragod 671316, Kerala, India
2
Department of Botany, Govt. Degree College, Kishtwar 182204, Jammu and Kashmir, India
3
Molecular Genetics & Genomics Laboratory, Department of Horticulture, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 34134, Korea
4
School of Life Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi 110067, Delhi, India
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Endang Septiningsih
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(15), 8093; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22158093
Received: 12 June 2021 / Revised: 21 July 2021 / Accepted: 23 July 2021 / Published: 28 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Genomics and Genome Editing)
Indigenous communities across the globe, especially in rural areas, consume locally available plants known as Traditional Food Plants (TFPs) for their nutritional and health-related needs. Recent research shows that many TFPs are highly nutritious as they contain health beneficial metabolites, vitamins, mineral elements and other nutrients. Excessive reliance on the mainstream staple crops has its own disadvantages. Traditional food plants are nowadays considered important crops of the future and can act as supplementary foods for the burgeoning global population. They can also act as emergency foods in situations such as COVID-19 and in times of other pandemics. The current situation necessitates locally available alternative nutritious TFPs for sustainable food production. To increase the cultivation or improve the traits in TFPs, it is essential to understand the molecular basis of the genes that regulate some important traits such as nutritional components and resilience to biotic and abiotic stresses. The integrated use of modern omics and gene editing technologies provide great opportunities to better understand the genetic and molecular basis of superior nutrient content, climate-resilient traits and adaptation to local agroclimatic zones. Recently, realizing the importance and benefits of TFPs, scientists have shown interest in the prospection and sequencing of TFPs for their improvements, cultivation and mainstreaming. Integrated omics such as genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics and ionomics are successfully used in plants and have provided a comprehensive understanding of gene-protein-metabolite networks. Combined use of omics and editing tools has led to successful editing of beneficial traits in several TFPs. This suggests that there is ample scope for improvement of TFPs for sustainable food production. In this article, we highlight the importance, scope and progress towards improvement of TFPs for valuable traits by integrated use of omics and gene editing techniques. View Full-Text
Keywords: traditional food plants; climate change; food security; omics; translational genomics; gene editing; CRISPR/Cas; COVID-19 traditional food plants; climate change; food security; omics; translational genomics; gene editing; CRISPR/Cas; COVID-19
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kumar, A.; Anju, T.; Kumar, S.; Chhapekar, S.S.; Sreedharan, S.; Singh, S.; Choi, S.R.; Ramchiary, N.; Lim, Y.P. Integrating Omics and Gene Editing Tools for Rapid Improvement of Traditional Food Plants for Diversified and Sustainable Food Security. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22, 8093. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22158093

AMA Style

Kumar A, Anju T, Kumar S, Chhapekar SS, Sreedharan S, Singh S, Choi SR, Ramchiary N, Lim YP. Integrating Omics and Gene Editing Tools for Rapid Improvement of Traditional Food Plants for Diversified and Sustainable Food Security. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2021; 22(15):8093. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22158093

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kumar, Ajay, Thattantavide Anju, Sushil Kumar, Sushil Satish Chhapekar, Sajana Sreedharan, Sonam Singh, Su Ryun Choi, Nirala Ramchiary, and Yong Pyo Lim. 2021. "Integrating Omics and Gene Editing Tools for Rapid Improvement of Traditional Food Plants for Diversified and Sustainable Food Security" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 22, no. 15: 8093. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22158093

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