Precision Genome Engineering and Agriculture: Opportunities and Regulatory Challenges

Daniel F. Voytas, Caixia Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

353 Scopus citations


Plant agriculture is poised at a technological inflection point. Recent advances in genome engineering make it possible to precisely alter DNA sequences in living cells, providing unprecedented control over a plant's genetic material. Potential future crops derived through genome engineering include those that better withstand pests, that have enhanced nutritional value, and that are able to grow on marginal lands. In many instances, crops with such traits will be created by altering only a few nucleotides among the billions that comprise plant genomes. As such, and with the appropriate regulatory structures in place, crops created through genome engineering might prove to be more acceptable to the public than plants that carry foreign DNA in their genomes. Public perception and the performance of the engineered crop varieties will determine the extent to which this powerful technology contributes towards securing the world's food supply.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1001877
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalPLoS biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2014


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