The global demand for high-quality crops is continuously growing with time. Crop improvement techniques have a long history and they had been applied since the beginning of domestication of the first agricultural plants. Since then, various new techniques have and are being developed to further increase the commercial value and yield of crops. The latest crop improvement technique known as genome editing is a technique that enables precise modification of the plant genome via knocking out undesirable genes or enabling genes to gain new function. The variants generated from the genome editing are indistinguishable from naturally occurring variation. It is also less time-consuming and more readily accepted in the market commercially. The usage of genome editing has proven to be advantages and plays a promising role in future crop improvement efforts. Therefore, in this chapter, we aim to highlight the progress and application of genome editing techniques, in particular, the CRISPR/Cas9 system as a powerful genome editing tool for crop improvement. In addition, the challenges and future prospects of this technology for crop improvement will also be discussed.
Part of the book: Next Generation Plant Breeding