Precision Genome Editing for Plant Breeding

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Crop Breeding and Genetics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 May 2021) | Viewed by 11810

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Plant Breeding, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden
Interests: plant Breeding; molecular biology; plant genetics, policy and regulatory aspects
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Guest Editor
Wageningen Plant Research, Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen, The Netherlands
Interests: transgenics; plant biotechnology; plant molecular biology; plant biology; plant genetics

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Guest Editor
Institute of Sciences of Food Production ISPA, Italian National Research Council, Rome, Italy
Interests: plant secondary metabolisms (i.e. polyphenols) and new technologies (i.e. metabolic engineering, NGTs) to improve the polyphenols and other micronutrients content in tomato
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Guest Editor
Institute for Biosafety in Plant Biotechnology, Julius Kuehn Institut, 06484 Quedlinburg, Germany
Interests: genome editing; biotechnology; biosafety; GMO; regulation; meiosis; recombination; synthetic biology
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Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Plant research and breeding play vital roles in the delivery of a sustainable and sufficient supply of nutritious food and feed, while at the same time contributing towards lowering the environmental footprint of agriculture. Energy, fuel, and industrial raw material production are also becoming increasingly dependent on agricultural output in the transition to a more sustainable, bio-based society. Genome editing is a technology with great potential, allowing rapid genetic alterations at a level of precision not seen before. The corresponding capacity for improved plant research and crop trait management will provide important economic and environmental benefits for our society in all the abovementioned sectors.

The 2nd PlantEd international conference will bring together experts from various disciplines and sectors and provide presentations on the forefront of genome editing and its application in various types of plants. There will be specific sessions on cereals, oilcrops, roots and tubers, legumes, forage crops, trees, and algae. Reflecting the scope of PlantEd, there will in addition to the technically oriented sessions also be room for presentations on the impact of the technology, the legal and regulatory situation, as well as public perceptions and communication. The annual PlantEd conference will this time be held in Lecce, Italy, on 17–19 March 2021. A co-localised Training School, for early-career researchers and with limited number of participants, on the impact of plant genome editing will be organised immediately before the conference (27 October). Other external workshops related to plant genome editing will also be co-localised and co-ordinated with the conference. Abstracts presented (oral or poster) either at this 2nd PlantEd conference, or the 1st PlantEd conference in 2019, are welcome as a full manuscript for publication in this Special Issue.

The COST Action PlantEd (CA18111) is a European network project funded by the COST Association (European Cooperation in Science and Technology). PlantEd currently gathers more than 350 experts from 36 European countries and another 13 countries beyond Europe, representing a range of disciplines and sectors all with a focus on plant genome editing. With the purpose of coordinating nationally funded research projects, a multitude of stakeholders is working together for four years (2019–2023) to advance the technical forefront, assess the impact on research and breeding, discuss regulatory options, monitor (and potentially influence) public perceptions, and develop a number of outreach and educational activities.

Dr. Dennis Eriksson
Dr. Ruud A. De Maagd
Dr. Angelo Santino
Dr. Thorben Sprink
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agronomy is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

plants;

precision breeding;

genome editing;

base editing;

prime editing;

site-directed mutagenesis;

CRISPR/Cas;

impact;

biosafety;

communication;

COST Action;

PlantEd;

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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20 pages, 2747 KiB  
Article
Economic and Environmental Consequences of the ECJ Genome Editing Judgment in Agriculture
by Alexander Gocht, Nicola Consmüller, Ferike Thom and Harald Grethe
Agronomy 2021, 11(6), 1212; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11061212 - 15 Jun 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3484
Abstract
Genome-edited crops are on the verge of being placed on the market and their agricultural and food products will thus be internationally traded soon. National regulations, however, diverge regarding the classification of genome-edited crops. Major countries such as the US and Brazil do [...] Read more.
Genome-edited crops are on the verge of being placed on the market and their agricultural and food products will thus be internationally traded soon. National regulations, however, diverge regarding the classification of genome-edited crops. Major countries such as the US and Brazil do not specifically regulate genome-edited crops, while in the European Union, they fall under GMO legislation, according to the European Court of Justice (ECJ). As it is in some cases impossible to analytically distinguish between products from genome-edited plants and those from non-genome-edited plants, EU importers may fear the risk of violating EU legislation. They may choose not to import any agricultural and food products based on crops for which genome-edited varieties are available. Therefore, crop products of which the EU is currently a net importer would become more expensive in the EU, and production would intensify. Furthermore, an intense substitution of products covered and not covered by genome editing would occur in consumption, production, and trade. We analyzed the effects of such a cease of EU imports for cereals and soy in the EU agricultural sector with the comparative static agricultural sector equilibrium model CAPRI. Our results indicate dramatic effects on agricultural and food prices as well as on farm income. The intensification of EU agriculture may result in negative net environmental effects in the EU as well as in an increase in global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This suggests that trade effects should be considered when developing domestic regulation for genome-edited crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Precision Genome Editing for Plant Breeding)
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Review

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12 pages, 286 KiB  
Review
Implications of the EFSA Scientific Opinion on Site Directed Nucleases 1 and 2 for Risk Assessment of Genome-Edited Plants in the EU
by Nils Rostoks
Agronomy 2021, 11(3), 572; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11030572 - 18 Mar 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3350
Abstract
Genome editing is a set of techniques for introducing targeted changes in genomes. It may be achieved by enzymes collectively called site-directed nucleases (SDN). Site-specificity of SDNs is provided either by the DNA binding domain of the protein molecule itself or by RNA [...] Read more.
Genome editing is a set of techniques for introducing targeted changes in genomes. It may be achieved by enzymes collectively called site-directed nucleases (SDN). Site-specificity of SDNs is provided either by the DNA binding domain of the protein molecule itself or by RNA molecule(s) that direct SDN to a specific site in the genome. In contrast to transgenesis resulting in the insertion of exogenous DNA, genome editing only affects specific endogenous sequences. Therefore, multiple jurisdictions around the world have exempted certain types of genome-edited organisms from national biosafety regulations completely, or on a case-by-case basis. In the EU, however, the ruling of the Court of Justice on the scope of mutagenesis exemption case C-528/16 indicated that the genome-edited organisms are subject to the GMO Directive, but the practical implications for stakeholders wishing to develop and authorize genome-edited products in the EU remain unclear. European Food Safety Authority in response to a request by European Commission has produced a scientific opinion on plants developed by SDN-1, SDN-2, and oligonucleotide-directed mutagenesis (ODM) genome editing techniques. In this review, I will (1) provide a conceptual background on GMO risk assessment in the EU; (2) will introduce the main conclusions of the EFSA opinion, and (3) will outline the potential impact on the risk assessment of genome-edited plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Precision Genome Editing for Plant Breeding)

Other

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8 pages, 200 KiB  
Perspective
Detection Methods Fit-for-Purpose in Enforcement Control of Genetically Modified Plants Produced with Novel Genomic Techniques (NGTs)
by Alexandra Ribarits, Frank Narendja, Walter Stepanek and Rupert Hochegger
Agronomy 2021, 11(1), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11010061 - 30 Dec 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 4063
Abstract
The comprehensive EU regulatory framework regarding GMOs aims at preventing damage to human and animal health and the environment, and foresees labelling and traceability. Genome-edited plants and products fall under these EU GMO regulations, which have to be implemented in enforcement control activities. [...] Read more.
The comprehensive EU regulatory framework regarding GMOs aims at preventing damage to human and animal health and the environment, and foresees labelling and traceability. Genome-edited plants and products fall under these EU GMO regulations, which have to be implemented in enforcement control activities. GMO detection methods currently used by enforcement laboratories are based on real-time PCR, where specificity and sensitivity are important performance parameters. Genome editing allows the targeted modification of nucleotide sequences in organisms, including plants, and often produces single nucleotide variants (SNVs), which are the most challenging class of genome edits to detect. The test method must therefore meet advanced requirements regarding specificity, which can be increased by modifying a PCR method. Digital PCR systems achieve a very high sensitivity and have advantages in quantitative measurement. Sequencing methods may also be used to detect DNA modifications caused by genome editing. Whereas most PCR methods can be carried out in an enforcement laboratory with existing technical equipment and staff, the processing of the sequencing data requires additional resources and the appropriate bioinformatic expertise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Precision Genome Editing for Plant Breeding)
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