Topic Editors

Department of Biology, University of Colorado Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs, CO 80918, USA
Mid-Florida Research and Education Center, Environmental Horticulture Department, University of Florida, 2725 S. Binion Road, Apopka, FL 32703, USA
Central Community College, Hastings, NE 68902, USA

Genetic Engineering in Agriculture

Abstract submission deadline
31 July 2024
Manuscript submission deadline
30 September 2024
Viewed by
17831

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

Genetic engineering (GE) relies on the approaches of modern molecular biology to permanently change the genetic makeup of cells. GE is often used to produce organisms with improved or novel traits, often by transferring genes across species boundaries, or making targeted genomic changes. The uses of GE range from research to medicine, industrial applications, and agriculture.

In this Topic, we focus on GE applications to agriculture, including crops, livestock, breeding, and more. Historically, GE was used to create insect-resistant and herbicide-tolerant crops, which are widely used. Now, efforts are underway to create a variety of specialty traits, such as improved tolerance to abiotic stress. Engineering of animals has led to increased growth, absence of horns, reduced methane emissions, and more. As GE has enormous potential to change organisms, this topic is both exciting and controversial.

The Topic “Genetic Engineering for Agriculture” provides a platform to publish both reviews (both in support of GE for agriculture and in opposition to GE for agriculture) and original research papers. Please join us in creating a diverse collection of articles for a variety of topics. We look forward to receiving contributions.

Dr. Amy L. Klocko
Prof. Dr. Jianjun Chen
Dr. Haiwei Lu
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • genetic engineering
  • agriculture
  • CRISPR-Cas
  • biotechnology
  • livestock
  • crops
  • genetic modification

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Agriculture
agriculture
3.3 4.9 2011 20.2 Days CHF 2600 Submit
Bioengineering
bioengineering
3.8 4.0 2014 15.6 Days CHF 2700 Submit
Genes
genes
2.8 5.2 2010 16.3 Days CHF 2600 Submit
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
ijms
4.9 8.1 2000 18.1 Days CHF 2900 Submit
Plants
plants
4.0 6.5 2012 18.2 Days CHF 2700 Submit
DNA
dna
- - 2021 21.5 Days CHF 1000 Submit

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Published Papers (7 papers)

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16 pages, 2372 KiB  
Article
Transgenic Soybean for Production of Thermostable α-Amylase
by Zhenyan Cao, Ye Jiang, Jiajie Li, Ting Zheng, Chaoyang Lin and Zhicheng Shen
Plants 2024, 13(11), 1539; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13111539 - 2 Jun 2024
Viewed by 558
Abstract
Alpha-amylases are crucial hydrolase enzymes which have been widely used in food, feed, fermentation, and pharmaceutical industries. Methods for low-cost production of α-amylases are highly desirable. Soybean seed, functioning as a bioreactor, offers an excellent platform for the mass production of recombinant proteins [...] Read more.
Alpha-amylases are crucial hydrolase enzymes which have been widely used in food, feed, fermentation, and pharmaceutical industries. Methods for low-cost production of α-amylases are highly desirable. Soybean seed, functioning as a bioreactor, offers an excellent platform for the mass production of recombinant proteins for its ability to synthesize substantial quantities of proteins. In this study, we generated and characterized transgenic soybeans expressing the α-amylase AmyS from Bacillus stearothermophilus. The α-amylase expression cassettes were constructed for seed specific expression by utilizing the promoters of three different soybean storage peptides and transformed into soybean via Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. The event with the highest amylase activity reached 601 U/mg of seed flour (one unit is defined as the amount of enzyme that generates 1 micromole reducing ends per min from starch at 65 °C in pH 5.5 sodium acetate buffer). The optimum pH, optimum temperature, and the enzymatic kinetics of the soybean expressed enzyme are similar to that of the E. coli expressed enzyme. However, the soybean expressed α-amylase is glycosylated, exhibiting enhanced thermostability and storage stability. Soybean AmyS retains over 80% activity after 100 min at 75 °C, and the transgenic seeds exhibit no significant activity loss after one year of storage at room temperature. The accumulated AmyS in the transgenic seeds represents approximately 15% of the total seed protein, or about 4% of the dry seed weight. The specific activity of the transgenic soybean seed flour is comparable to many commercial α-amylase enzyme products in current markets, suggesting that the soybean flour may be directly used for various applications without the need for extraction and purification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Genetic Engineering in Agriculture)
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14 pages, 1137 KiB  
Review
Application of Nanotechnology in Plant Genetic Engineering
by Kexin Wu, Changbin Xu, Tong Li, Haijie Ma, Jinli Gong, Xiaolong Li, Xuepeng Sun and Xiaoli Hu
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(19), 14836; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241914836 - 2 Oct 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3725
Abstract
The ever-increasing food requirement with globally growing population demands advanced agricultural practices to improve grain yield, to gain crop resilience under unpredictable extreme weather, and to reduce production loss caused by insects and pathogens. To fulfill such requests, genome engineering technology has been [...] Read more.
The ever-increasing food requirement with globally growing population demands advanced agricultural practices to improve grain yield, to gain crop resilience under unpredictable extreme weather, and to reduce production loss caused by insects and pathogens. To fulfill such requests, genome engineering technology has been applied to various plant species. To date, several generations of genome engineering methods have been developed. Among these methods, the new mainstream technology is clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) with nucleases. One of the most important processes in genome engineering is to deliver gene cassettes into plant cells. Conventionally used systems have several shortcomings, such as being labor- and time-consuming procedures, potential tissue damage, and low transformation efficiency. Taking advantage of nanotechnology, the nanoparticle-mediated gene delivery method presents technical superiority over conventional approaches due to its high efficiency and adaptability in different plant species. In this review, we summarize the evolution of plant biomolecular delivery methods and discussed their characteristics as well as limitations. We focused on the cutting-edge nanotechnology-based delivery system, and reviewed different types of nanoparticles, preparation of nanomaterials, mechanism of nanoparticle transport, and advanced application in plant genome engineering. On the basis of established methods, we concluded that the combination of genome editing, nanoparticle-mediated gene transformation and de novo regeneration technologies can accelerate crop improvement efficiently in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Genetic Engineering in Agriculture)
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15 pages, 6409 KiB  
Article
Stacking Multiple Genes Improves Resistance to Chilo suppressalis, Magnaporthe oryzae, and Nilaparvata lugens in Transgenic Rice
by Bai Li, Zhongkai Chen, Huizhen Chen, Chunlei Wang, Liyan Song, Yue Sun, Yicong Cai, Dahu Zhou, Linjuan Ouyang, Changlan Zhu, Haohua He and Xiaosong Peng
Genes 2023, 14(5), 1070; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14051070 - 12 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1642
Abstract
The ability of various pests and diseases to adapt to a single plant resistance gene over time leads to loss of resistance in transgenic rice. Therefore, introduction of different pest and disease resistance genes is critical for successful cultivation of transgenic rice strains [...] Read more.
The ability of various pests and diseases to adapt to a single plant resistance gene over time leads to loss of resistance in transgenic rice. Therefore, introduction of different pest and disease resistance genes is critical for successful cultivation of transgenic rice strains with broad-spectrum resistance to multiple pathogens. Here, we produced resistance rice lines with multiple, stacked resistance genes by stacking breeding and comprehensively evaluated their resistance to Chilo suppressalis (striped rice stemborer), Magnaporthe oryzae (rice blast), and Nilaparvata lugens (brown planthopper) in a pesticide-free environment. CRY1C and CRY2A are exogenous genes from Bacillus thuringiensis. Pib, Pikm, and Bph29 are natural genes in rice. CH121TJH was introduced into CRY 1C, Pib, Pikm, and Bph29. CH891TJH and R205XTJH were introduced into CRY 2A, Pib, Pikm, and Bph29. Compared with those observed in their recurrent parents, CH121TJH significantly increased the mortality of borers. The other two lines CH891TJH and R205XTJH are the same result. Three lines introduction of Pib and Pikm significantly reduced the area of rice blast lesions, and introduction of Bph29 significantly reduced seedling mortality from N. lugens. Introduction of the exogenous genes had relatively few effects on agronomic and yield traits of the original parents. These findings suggest that stacking of rice resistance genes through molecular marker-assisted backcross breeding can confer broad spectrum and multiple resistance in differently genetic backgrounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Genetic Engineering in Agriculture)
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15 pages, 9305 KiB  
Article
DoMYB5 and DobHLH24, Transcription Factors Involved in Regulating Anthocyanin Accumulation in Dendrobium officinale
by Kun Yang, Yibin Hou, Mei Wu, Qiuyu Pan, Yilong Xie, Yusen Zhang, Fenghang Sun, Zhizhong Zhang and Jinghua Wu
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(8), 7552; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24087552 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2037
Abstract
As a kind of orchid plant with both medicinal and ornamental value, Dendrobium officinale has garnered increasing research attention in recent years. The MYB and bHLH transcription factors play important roles in the synthesis and accumulation of anthocyanin. However, how MYB and bHLH [...] Read more.
As a kind of orchid plant with both medicinal and ornamental value, Dendrobium officinale has garnered increasing research attention in recent years. The MYB and bHLH transcription factors play important roles in the synthesis and accumulation of anthocyanin. However, how MYB and bHLH transcription factors work in the synthesis and accumulation of anthocyanin in D. officinale is still unclear. In this study, we cloned and characterized one MYB and one bHLH transcription factor, namely, D. officinale MYB5 (DoMYB5) and D. officinaleb bHLH24 (DobHLH24), respectively. Their expression levels were positively correlated with the anthocyanin content in the flowers, stems, and leaves of D. officinale varieties with different colors. The transient expression of DoMYB5 and DobHLH24 in D. officinale leaf and their stable expression in tobacco significantly promoted the accumulation of anthocyanin. Both DoMYB5 and DobHLH24 could directly bind to the promoters of D. officinale CHS (DoCHS) and D. officinale DFR (DoDFR) and regulate DoCHS and DoDFR expression. The co-transformation of the two transcription factors significantly enhanced the expression levels of DoCHS and DoDFR. DoMYB5 and DobHLH24 may enhance the regulatory effect by forming heterodimers. Drawing on the results of our experiments, we propose that DobHLH24 may function as a regulatory partner by interacting directly with DoMYB5 to stimulate anthocyanin accumulation in D. officinale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Genetic Engineering in Agriculture)
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16 pages, 4328 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Analysis of the LATERAL ORGAN BOUNDARIES Domain (LBD) Members in Alfalfa and the Involvement of MsLBD48 in Nitrogen Assimilation
by Xu Jiang, Huiting Cui, Zhen Wang, Junmei Kang, Qingchuan Yang and Changhong Guo
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(5), 4644; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24054644 - 28 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1761
Abstract
The LATERAL ORGAN BOUNDARIES DOMAIN (LBD) proteins, a transcription factor family specific to the land plants, have been implicated in multiple biological processes including organ development, pathogen response and the uptake of inorganic nitrogen. The study focused on LBDs in legume forage [...] Read more.
The LATERAL ORGAN BOUNDARIES DOMAIN (LBD) proteins, a transcription factor family specific to the land plants, have been implicated in multiple biological processes including organ development, pathogen response and the uptake of inorganic nitrogen. The study focused on LBDs in legume forage Alfalfa. The genome-wide analysis revealed that in Alfalfa 178 loci across 31 allelic chromosomes encoded 48 unique LBDs (MsLBDs), and the genome of its diploid progenitor M. sativa spp. Caerulea encoded 46 LBDs. Synteny analysis indicated that the expansion of AlfalfaLBDs was attributed to the whole genome duplication event. The MsLBDs were divided into two major phylogenetic classes, and the LOB domain of the Class I members was highly conserved relative to that of the Class II. The transcriptomic data demonstrated that 87.5% of MsLBDs were expressed in at least one of the six test tissues, and Class II members were preferentially expressed in nodules. Moreover, the expression of Class II LBDs in roots was upregulated by the treatment of inorganic nitrogen such as KNO3 and NH4Cl (0.3 mM). The overexpression of MsLBD48, a Class II member, in Arabidopsis resulted in growth retardance with significantly declined biomass compared with the non-transgenic plants, and the transcription level of the genes involved in nitrogen uptake or assimilation, including NRT1.1, NRT2.1, NIA1 and NIA2 was repressed. Therefore, the LBDs in Alfalfa are highly conserved with their orthologs in embryophytes. Our observations that ectopic expression of MsLBD48 inhibited Arabidopsis growth by repressing nitrogen adaption suggest the negative role of the transcription factor in plant uptake of inorganic nitrogen. The findings imply the potential application of MsLBD48 in Alfalfa yield improvement via gene editing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Genetic Engineering in Agriculture)
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15 pages, 5988 KiB  
Article
Gonadal Transcriptome Analysis and Sequence Characterization of Sex-Related Genes in Cranoglanis bouderius
by Dongjie Wang, Zhengkun Pan, Guoxia Wang, Bin Ye, Qiujie Wang, Zhiheng Zuo, Jixing Zou and Shaolin Xie
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(24), 15840; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms232415840 - 13 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1555
Abstract
In China, the Cranoglanis bouderius is classified as a national class II-protected animal. The development of C. bouderius populations has been affected by a variety of factors over the past few decades, with severe declines occurring. Considering the likelihood of continued population declines [...] Read more.
In China, the Cranoglanis bouderius is classified as a national class II-protected animal. The development of C. bouderius populations has been affected by a variety of factors over the past few decades, with severe declines occurring. Considering the likelihood of continued population declines of the C. bouderius in the future, it is critical to investigate the currently unknown characteristics of gonadal differentiation and sex-related genes for C. bouderius conservation. In this study, the Illumina sequencing platform was used to sequence the gonadal transcriptome of the C. bouderius to identify the pathways and genes related to gonadal development and analyze the expression differences in the gonads. A total of 12,002 DEGs were identified, with 7220 being significantly expressed in the ovary and 4782 being significantly expressed in the testis. According to the functional enrichment results, the cell cycle, RNA transport, apoptosis, Wnt signaling pathway, p53 signaling pathway, and prolactin signaling pathway play important roles in sex development in the C. bouderius. Furthermore, the sequence characterization and evolutionary analysis revealed that AMH, DAX1, NANOS1, and AR of the C. bouderius are highly conserved. Specifically, the qRT-PCR results from various tissues showed significant differences in AMH, DAX1, NANOS1, and AR expression levels in the gonads of both sexes of C. bouderius. These analyses indicated that AMH, DAX1, NANOS1, and AR may play important roles in the differentiation and development of C. bouderius gonads. To our best knowledge, this study is the first to analyze the C. bouderius gonadal transcriptome and identify the structures of sex-related genes, laying the foundation for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Genetic Engineering in Agriculture)
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18 pages, 2998 KiB  
Article
Identification of Alkaline Salt Tolerance Genes in Brassica napus L. by Transcriptome Analysis
by Yu Xu, Shunxian Tao, Yunlin Zhu, Qi Zhang, Ping Li, Han Wang, Yan Zhang, Aldiyar Bakirov, Hanming Cao, Mengfan Qin, Kai Wang, Yiji Shi, Xiang Liu, Lin Zheng, Aixia Xu and Zhen Huang
Genes 2022, 13(8), 1493; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13081493 - 21 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2292
Abstract
Soil salt alkalization is one major abiotic factor reducing the productivity of crops, including rapeseed, an indispensable oil crop and vegetable. The mechanism studies of alkali salt tolerance can help breed highly resistant varieties. In the current study, rapeseed (B. napus) [...] Read more.
Soil salt alkalization is one major abiotic factor reducing the productivity of crops, including rapeseed, an indispensable oil crop and vegetable. The mechanism studies of alkali salt tolerance can help breed highly resistant varieties. In the current study, rapeseed (B. napus) line 2205 exhibited more tolerance to alkaline salt than line 1423 did. In line 2205, the lesser plasma membrane damage index, the accumulated osmotic solute, and higher antioxidant enzyme activities contributed to alkaline tolerance. A more integrated mesophyll-cell structure was revealed under alkali salt stress by ultrastructure observation in line 2205, which also implied a lesser injury. Transcriptome analysis showed that more genes responded to alkaline salt in line 2205. The expression of specific-response genes in line 1423 was lower than in line 2205. However, most of the specific-response genes in line 2205 had higher expression, which was mainly enriched in carbohydrate metabolism, photosynthetic processes, ROS regulating, and response to salt stress. It can be seen that the tolerance to alkaline salt is attributed to the high expression of some genes in these pathways. Based on these, twelve cross-differentially expressed genes were proposed as candidates. They provide clues for further analysis of the resistance mechanism of rapeseed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Genetic Engineering in Agriculture)
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