Nanotechnology Strategies for Plant Genetic Engineering

Adv Mater. 2022 Feb;34(7):e2106945. doi: 10.1002/adma.202106945. Epub 2022 Jan 6.


Plant genetic engineering is essential for improving crop yield, quality, and resistance to abiotic/biotic stresses for sustainable agriculture. Agrobacterium-, biolistic bombardment-, electroporation-, and poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-mediated genetic-transformation systems are extensively used in plant genetic engineering. However, these systems have limitations, including species dependency, destruction of plant tissues, low transformation efficiency, and high cost. Recently, nanotechnology-based gene-delivery methods have been developed for plant genetic transformation. This nanostrategy shows excellent transformation efficiency, good biocompatibility, adequate protection of exogenous nucleic acids, and the potential for plant regeneration. However, the nanomaterial-mediated gene-delivery system in plants is still in its infancy, and there are many challenges for its broad applications. Herein, the conventional genetic transformation techniques used in plants are briefly discussed. After that, the progress in the development of nanomaterial-based gene-delivery systems is considered. CRISPR-Cas-mediated genome editing and its combined applications with plant nanotechnology are also discussed. The conceptual innovations, methods, and practical applications of nanomaterial-mediated genetic transformation summarized herein will be beneficial for promoting plant genetic engineering in modern agriculture.

Keywords: agrobacterium; carbon nanotubes; genetic engineering; nanoparticles; plants.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • CRISPR-Cas Systems*
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Genome, Plant*
  • Nanotechnology
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / genetics