Food security is threatened by various biotic stresses that affect the growth and production
of agricultural crops. Viral diseases have become a serious concern for crop plants as they incur
huge yield losses. The enhancement of host resistance against plant viruses is a priority for the
effective management of plant viral diseases. However, in the present context of the climate
change scenario, plant viruses are rapidly evolving, resulting in the loss of the host resistance mechanism.
Advances in genome editing techniques, such as CRISPR-Cas9 [clustered regularly interspaced
palindromic repeats-CRISPR-associated 9], have been recognized as promising tools for the
development of plant virus resistance. CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing tool is widely preferred due
to high target specificity, simplicity, efficiency, and reproducibility. CRISPR-Cas9 based virus resistance
in plants has been successfully achieved by gene targeting and cleaving the viral genome
or altering the plant genome to enhance plant innate immunity. In this article, we have described
the CRISPR-Cas9 system, mechanism of plant immunity against viruses and highlighted the use of
the CRISPR-Cas9 system to engineer virus resistance in plants. We also discussed prospects and
challenges on the use of CRISPR-Cas9-mediated plant virus resistance in crop improvement.
Keywords: CRISPR, Cas9, plant innate immunity, plant virus, genome editing, crop improvement, food security, RNA.
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport