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06 July 2020

Call for Contributions to a Special Issue of Turkish Journal of Agriculture and Forestry


Genome Editing Technologies in Agriculture and Forestry; Utilizations, Current Achievements, Regulatory Framework and Future Prospects

Guest Editors

  • Dr. Goetz Hensel, Head Center for Plant Genome Engineering, Institute of Plant Biochemistry, Heinrich Heine University, Duesseldorf, Germany (Email: goetz.hensel@hhu.de)
  • Dr. Allah Bakhsh, Department of Agricultural Genetic Engineering, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Technologies, Nigde Omer Halisdemir University, Nigde, Turkey (Email: abthebest@gmail.com)


The genome editing tools such as Zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs), transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs), CRISPR/Cas9 (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat/CRISPR-associated nuclease 9), and its variants, have been used widely in the last decade to precisely manipulate plant genomes. They provide after induction of a double-strand break the opportunity to delete/insert or exchange single or multiple nucleotides in a targeted, predefined fashion. Alternatively they provide with their RNA/DNA-binding capacity tools to visualize, activate or repress gene function by fusion with respective protein domains. We invite contributions from fellow researchers for a special issue regarding applications of genome editing technologies, their current regulatory status and future prospects in the area of agriculture and forestry. The special issue intends to provide an update on this highly dynamic field. Contributions are invited as research papers, review articles and opinion papers which includes the regulatory status of genome edited crops in different countries.

Over time, genome editing technologies especially CRISPR/Cas have become more popular, mainly due to its ease of cloning, higher mutation rates and more opportunities in minimizing the off-targets. The use of these technologies is imperative in that the climate is changing globally and to meet food security challenges limited by ecological, environmental and agricultural factors. However, in many countries there is still debate over whether particular genome edited (GE) crops with similar modifications as introduced by conventional breeding methods should be given the same status as GMOs. Many scientists do consider CRISPR gene editing tools as the fastest technology for improving crops with precision. Nevertheless, in several countries, all GE crops are considered as GMOs by their legislation.

Although genome editing technologies allow scientists to accelerate crop improvement, however there are still considerable technical barriers including tissue culture dependent plant transformation (delivery method of programmable endonucleases), an efficient guide RNA designing algorithms and validations of newly developed genome-editing tools in plants etc. This special issue will focus on the following topics.

  • Efficient and reproducible DNA delivery methods for crop plants and trees genome editing (Agrobacterium, particle bombardment, plant viruses, and carbon nanotubes/cell penetrating peptides - etc)
  • Methods to improve the on-target efficiency and accuracy of plant genome editing
  • Methods to interfere with the repair machinery of the plants
  • Risks and safety consideration of genome edited crops and trees
  • Regulatory issues concerning genome editing technologies. Review or opinion papers are invited that give an overview about the actual situation and expected evolution in this area.

For review and opinion papers, please discuss a tentative outline with the editors of the special issue. Article will be published online following acceptance. The deadline for contributions is December 2020 whereas target date for the printed issue to be published is March 2021.