Prime Editing: Towards More Precise, Targeted Genome Editing

Sheel Yadav, Laxmi Sharma & Shashi Meena


Over the past decade, there has been a lot of scientific experimentation to develop crop varieties that are more adapted to the rapidly changing climatic conditions. With the advent of NGS (Next-Generation Sequencing) technology, the breeding process to develop improved, climate-resilient crop varieties has become more precise and much faster than ever anticipated. The availability of whole genome sequences of most crop species has allowed crop breeders and molecular biologists to target precise regions in the genome and attempt gene modification to bring about desirable changes in the genome and, consequently, the phenotype. Genome editing, a non-transgenic method of genetic modification, has been made much easier and feasible with the recently developed CRISPR-Cas9 system owing to its simplicity. The potential of this technology in genetic improvement was realised as soon as the first reports of successful genome editing started appearing. Due to its profound applicability, this technology was hailed as a breakthrough in 2015.

An advancement of this technique called ‘Prime Editing’, published in the journal Nature in October 2019, allows ‘search-and-replace’ genome editing. What sets prime editing apart from traditional CRISPR is…read more on NOPR