including plant systems. The technology can be immediately

including
rice, wheat, maize and tomato are available in plants (Table 3). In most cases, a BE3 variant with
nickase nCas9 fused with a cytidine deaminase and a UGI were used for base editing. Since delivery of
template DNA can sometimes be a problem in plants, a Target-AID was
used as
cytidine deaminase33, and the fusion product was codon
optimized for plants (cereals); these base editors were, therefore,
described as plant
base editor =
PBE. Base
editing was successfully attempted in one study from ….and three studies from China.

Altogether nine genes in rice, one gene in wheat, one genes in
maize and two genes were targeted. Protoplasts or calli were used for
Agrobacterium-mediated delivery for gene editing and the edited protoplasts or
calli were regenerated to produce mutant plants, which exhibited the mutant
phenotype. In most cases, the editing efficiency was mush higher than earlier
reported for CRISPR/Cas mediated editing, thus demonstrating feasibility and
higher efficiency relative to CRISPR/Cas and can be profitably utilized for
crop improvement (see Table 3 for details). In some cases, the mutant plants produced through base
editing have been described as transgenic plants32,33, but we will
avoid calling them transgenic, since no transgenes have been inserted in the
genome, and only genes have been altered, making them equivalent to mutant
plants, rather than transgenic plants or GMO crops. In view of this, these
mutant plants should not be subject to the regulation that is used in case
transgenic (GM) crops, thus making it easier for these improved crops to reach
the farmers.

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Summary and conclusions

 

Base editing technology for editing a particular base
(nucleotide) in any specific gene in an animal or plant system has been formulated,
developed and used very actively and passionately during 2016 and 2017.  Base editing technology has also been
developed for editing RNA transcripts, so that a disease of a patient can be
addressed for temporary relief without causing any permanent alteration in the
genome. Some of the highlights of the development of major base editors are
summarized in Table 4. Base editing technology for editing DNA and RNA, both
represent a modification of CRISPR/Cas system, which revolutionized genome
editing during the last four years, after it was first proposed in 2012-13. A
comparison of CRISPR/Cas genome editing, DNA base editing and RNA base editing
is depicted in Figure 14. In the DNA/RNA base editing technology, some of the
limitations of CRISPR/Cas technology have been addressed, so that alterations
in a gene is now possible at a single base level in a predictable manner both
at the DNA level and RNA level. The technology has already been successfully
used for base alterations in several animal and plant systems. The technology
can be immediately used in plant systems for crop improvement, although in case
of human health care, it may take some time before delivery systems are
developed, side effects are examined and other regulatory/ethical issues are
addressed.