Target-specific gene delivery in plant systems and their expression: Insights into recent developments

J Biosci. 2020;45:30.


In order to improve crop plants in terms of their yield, drought resistance, pest resistance, nutritional value, etc., modern agriculture has relied upon plant genetic engineering. Since the advent of recombinant DNA technology, several tools have been used for genetic transformations in plants such as Agrobacterium tumefaciens, virus-mediated gene transfer, direct gene transfer systems such as electroporation, particle gun, microinjection and chemical methods. All these traditional methods lack specificity and the transgenes are integrated at random sites in the plant DNA. Recently novel techniques for gene targeting have evolved such as engineered nucleases such as Zinc Finger Nucleases, Transcription Activator like effector nucleases, Clustered regular interspaced short palindromic repeats. Other advances include improvement in tools for delivery of gene editing components which include carrier proteins, and carbon nanotubes. The present review focuses on the latest techniques for target specific gene delivery in plants, their expression and future directions in plant biotechnology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • CRISPR-Cas Systems / genetics*
  • Endonucleases
  • Gene Editing / methods*
  • Gene Targeting
  • Genetic Engineering / methods*
  • Genetic Therapy
  • Homologous Recombination / genetics*
  • Nanotubes, Carbon
  • Plants / genetics*
  • Plants / microbiology*
  • Transcription Activator-Like Effector Nucleases / genetics*
  • Zinc Finger Nucleases / genetics*


  • Nanotubes, Carbon
  • Endonucleases
  • Transcription Activator-Like Effector Nucleases
  • Zinc Finger Nucleases