NABI Demonstrated Nation’s First Banana Genome Editing Application

The National Agri-food Biotechnology Institute (NABI), has come up with the most advanced biotechnological technique known as “genome editing” to modify the plant genome by natural way (almost similar). Dr Siddharth Tiwari from NABI has very recently demonstrated first time its application in cultivated variety of Indian banana. This is also a first ever published report on genome editing in any fruit crops from India.
Globally, India is the largest producer of the banana. Most of the cultivated varieties of banana are sterile and therefore not able to improve by conventional breeding approach. Thus, the application of innovative biotechnological approaches, such as genome editing is considered to be a promising strategy in banana crop improvement programs. In this context, National Agri-food Biotechnology Institute (NABI), an autonomous institute of Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, has successfully demonstrated CRISPR/Cas based genome editing in banana. A group led by Dr. Siddharth Tiwari at NABI have edited phytoene desaturase gene that is involved in carotenoid biosynthesis pathway of banana. The work was also published in the reputed international journal “Functional & Integrative Genomics”. DOI: 10.1007/s10142-017-0577-5
Dr Tiwari mentioned that this CRISPR/Cas technique established by NABI in banana could serve as a useful tool that can be exploited towards improvement of nutritional quality, agronomical important traits as well as pathogen resistance in banana. Dr. T. R. Sharma, Executive Director of NABI congratulated Dr Tiwari and his team for this advanced research work and also encouraged scientists and researchers of NABI to exploit these modern tools to for human welfare related project. Indian researchers test crispr-cas9 genome editing in