With an ever-increasing population and shrinking natural resources, CRISPR offers a precise way to modify crops in hopes of making them yield more food, and resist drought and disease more effectively. Since its 2013 demonstration as a genome editing tool in Arabidopsis and tobacco, both widely used laboratory plants, CRISPR has been used in various crops including:
– Grains – wheat and maize
– Fruits – oranges and tomatoes
– Vegetables – potatoes and cabbage
The first CRISPR/Cas9 modified organism got a green light from the US government in 2016; mushrooms that are resistant to browning. This may seem simple, but keeping food fresher for longer could be the first step in reducing the $162 billion that North America spends on wasted food each year.