Guidelines for Performing CRISPR/Cas9 Genome Editing for Gene Validation and Trait Improvement in Crops. Academic Article uri icon


  • With the rapid advances in plant genome editing techniques over the past 10 years, more efficient and powerful crop genome editing applications are now possible. Candidate genes for key traits can be validated using CRISPR/Cas9-based knockouts and through the up- and down-regulation of gene expression. Likewise, new trait improvement approaches can take advantage of targeted editing to improve stress tolerance, disease resistance, and nutritional traits. However, several key steps in the process can prove tricky for researchers who might be new to plant genome editing. Here, we present step-by-step guidelines and best practices for a crop genome editing pipeline that should help to improve the rate of success. Important factors in the process include proper target sequence analysis and single guide RNA (sgRNA) design, sequencing of the target site in the genotypes of interest, performing an in vitro CRISPR/Cas9 ribonucleoprotein (RNP) assay to validate the designed sgRNAs, preparing the transformation constructs, considering a protoplast editing step as further validation, and, finally, stable plant transformation and mutation detection by Sanger and/or next-generation sequencing. With these detailed guidelines, a new user should be able to quickly set up a genome editing pipeline in their crop of interest and start making progress with the different CRISPR/Cas-based editing variants for gene validation and trait improvement purposes.

published proceedings

  • Plants (Basel)

author list (cited authors)

  • Tsakirpaloglou, N., Septiningsih, E. M., & Thomson, M. J.

complete list of authors

  • Tsakirpaloglou, Nikolaos||Septiningsih, Endang M||Thomson, Michael J

publication date

  • October 2023

published in