CRISPR-Based Crop Improvements: A Way Forward to Achieve Zero Hunger

Shakeel Ahmad, Liqun Tang, Rahil Shahzad, Amos Musyoki Mawia, Gundra Sivakrishna Rao, Shakra Jamil, Chen Wei, Zhonghua Sheng, Gaoneng Shao, Xiangjin Wei, Peisong Hu, Magdy M. Mahfouz, Shikai Hu, Shaoqing Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Zero hunger is one of the sustainable development goals set by the United Nations in 2015 to achieve global food security by 2030. The current harvest of crops is insufficient; feeding the world's population and meeting the goal of zero hunger by 2030 will require larger and more consistent crop production. Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats-associated protein (CRISPR-Cas) technology is widely used for the plant genome editing. In this review, we consider this technology as a potential tool for achieving zero hunger. We provide a comprehensive overview of CRISPR-Cas technology and its most important applications for food crops' improvement. We also conferred current and potential technological breakthroughs that will help in breeding future crops to end global hunger. The regulatory aspects of deploying this technology in commercial sectors, bioethics, and the production of transgene-free plants are also discussed. We hope that the CRISPR-Cas system will accelerate the breeding of improved crop cultivars compared with conventional breeding and pave the way toward the zero hunger goal.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
StatePublished - Jul 21 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-07-27
Acknowledgements: We are grateful to Dr. Rana Muhammad Atif from Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (UAF), Pakistan, for providing an ideal environment in his laboratory at the Center for Advanced Studies in Agriculture and Food Security (CAS-AFS), UAF, during the writeup of this manuscript. We also thank Prof. Dr. Asif Ali Khan (Vice Chancellor) from the Institute of Plant Breeding and Biotechnology, MNS University of Agriculture, Multan, Pakistan, for putting all his generous efforts in manuscript proofreading at the final stages. We apologize to colleagues whose work is not cited in this review owing to space limitations.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Chemistry


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