From Traditional Breeding to Genome Editing for Boosting Productivity of the Ancient Grain Tef Eragrostis tef (Zucc.) Trotter

Numan, Muhammad; Khan, Abdul Latif; Asaf, Sajjad; Salehin, Mohammad; Beyene, Getu; Tadele, Zerihun; Ligaba-Osena, Ayalew (2021). From Traditional Breeding to Genome Editing for Boosting Productivity of the Ancient Grain Tef Eragrostis tef (Zucc.) Trotter. Plants, 10(4), p. 628. MDPI 10.3390/plants10040628

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Tef (Eragrostis tef (Zucc.) Trotter) is a staple food crop for 70 of the Ethiopian population and is currently cultivated in several countries for grain and forage production. It is one of the most nutritious grains, and is also more resilient to marginal soil and climate conditions than major cereals such as maize, wheat and rice. However, tef is an extremely low-yielding crop, mainly due to lodging, which is when stalks fall on the ground irreversibly, and prolonged drought during the growing season. Climate change is triggering several biotic and abiotic stresses which are expected to cause severe food shortages in the foreseeable future. This has necessitated an alternative and robust approach in order to improve resilience to diverse types of stresses and increase crop yields. Traditional breeding has been extensively implemented to develop crop varieties with traits of interest, although the technique has several limitations. Currently, genome editing technologies are receiving increased interest among plant biologists as a means of improving key agronomic traits. In this review, the potential application of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and CRISPR-associated proteins (CRISPR-Cas) technology in improving stress resilience in tef is discussed. Several putative abiotic stress-resilient genes of the related monocot plant species have been discussed and proposed as target genes for editing in tef through the CRISPR-Cas system. This is expected to improve stress resilience and boost productivity, thereby ensuring food and nutrition security in the region where it is needed the most.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Plant Development
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Tadele, Zerihun

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

2223-7747

Publisher:

MDPI

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

15 Apr 2021 11:03

Last Modified:

15 Apr 2021 11:03

Publisher DOI:

10.3390/plants10040628

Uncontrolled Keywords:

CRSIPR-Cas; drought tolerance; Eragrostis tef; genome editing; stress resilience

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/154787

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/154787

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