Using Gene Editing Strategies for Wheat Improvement

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Despite wheats global importance, it has trailed behind the other major cereals regarding genomic tools and resources as well as gene transformation. As each gene usually exists as two copies in the tetraploid durum wheat or as three in hexaploid bread wheat, it is very difficult assess gene function and improve important agronomic traits in polyploid wheat with traditional breeding methods. Recent advances allow researchers to use gene editing technologies in wheat which facilitates the opportunity to knockout or modify one, two or all three gene homoeologs simultaneously, which is important to clarify the function and contribution of gene copies in a specific phenotype or trait. CRISPR-Cas technology is now being used routinely for gene knockout. Technological advancement has been rapid within the field, and recently more advance and precise methods have been deployed such as cytidine base editing, adenosine base editing, and prime editing in wheat. Here we summarised gene editing strategies that are presently being applied for wheat improvement.