Improved CRISPR-Cas9 Technology for Crop Genome Engineering and Developed Multiplex Genome Editing Strategy with Broad Applications
The laboratory of Dr. Yinong Yang made major progress in adapting and improving CRISPR-Cas9 technology for plant genome editing and precision breeding of transgene-free, genetically modified crops. The plasmid vectors, bioinformatics tools, and molecular methods developed by the Yang lab have been widely used by researchers around the world (e.g., over 350 requests for plasmid vectors so far). The polycistronic tRNA-gRNA multiplex editing method published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences USA was highly cited (67 times since 2015) and broadly used in agricultural, biomedical, and basic biological research in many laboratories, including those at Harvard, MIT, University of Cambridge, and University of California. Three U.S. and/or PCT patent applications were filed on their invention related to CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing and its application in plant genome engineering and precision breeding. The CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing research by the Yang lab received a lot of attention which included news reports or commentaries in Scientific American, MIT Technology Review, The Scientist, BioTechniques, Penn State News, and more than fifty invited seminars or presentations.