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Genome Editing Weds CRISPR: What Is in It for Phytoremediation?

Microbiology & Biotechnology Research Lab, Department of Environmental Sciences, Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi 46000, Pakistan
Jamil-ur-Rahman Center for Genome Research, Dr. Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research, International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences, University of Karachi, Karachi 75270, Pakistan
GeoBioTec Research Centre, Department of Geosciences, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Centre of Biotechnology and Fine Chemistry—Associated Laboratory, Faculty of Biotechnology, Catholic University of Portugal, 4169-005 Porto, Portugal
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Plants 2018, 7(3), 51;
Received: 28 March 2018 / Revised: 26 June 2018 / Accepted: 26 June 2018 / Published: 28 June 2018
The arrival of sequence-specific endonucleases that allow genome editing has shaken the pillars of basic and applied plant biology. Clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats (CRISPR) is a revolutionary genome-engineering tool that enables the enhancement of targeted traits in plants. Numerous plants, including energy crops, known for their potential to tolerate, immobilize, and stabilize inorganic and organic pollutants, have already been edited using different CRISPR systems. Moreover, a large array of genes responsible for increased metal tolerance, metal uptake and hyperaccumulation have already been identified. Thus, the CRISPR-mediated genome reprogramming of plants, including its use in gene expression regulation through transcriptional repression or activation (CRISPRi and CRISPRa), could be of paramount importance for phytoremediation. The simplicity, inexpensiveness, and capabilities of this gene editing technique could soon be used to enhance plants and bacteria involved in phytotechnologies, such as phystabilization, phytoextraction, phytomining, phytovolatilization, and bio-energy generation. In this brief viewpoint piece, we posit some of the potential benefits of CRISPR for phytoremediation. View Full-Text
Keywords: CRISPR; Cas9; genetic engineering; phytoremediation; phytomining; environmental pollution; Cpf1 CRISPR; Cas9; genetic engineering; phytoremediation; phytomining; environmental pollution; Cpf1
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Basharat, Z.; Novo, L.A.B.; Yasmin, A. Genome Editing Weds CRISPR: What Is in It for Phytoremediation? Plants 2018, 7, 51.

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