Advances in genomics and genome editing for improving strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa)

Front Genet. 2024 Apr 19:15:1382445. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2024.1382445. eCollection 2024.


The cultivated strawberry, Fragaria ×ananassa, is a recently domesticated fruit species of economic interest worldwide. As such, there is significant interest in continuous varietal improvement. Genomics-assisted improvement, including the use of DNA markers and genomic selection have facilitated significant improvements of numerous key traits during strawberry breeding. CRISPR/Cas-mediated genome editing allows targeted mutations and precision nucleotide substitutions in the target genome, revolutionizing functional genomics and crop improvement. Genome editing is beginning to gain traction in the more challenging polyploid crops, including allo-octoploid strawberry. The release of high-quality reference genomes and comprehensive subgenome-specific genotyping and gene expression profiling data in octoploid strawberry will lead to a surge in trait discovery and modification by using CRISPR/Cas. Genome editing has already been successfully applied for modification of several strawberry genes, including anthocyanin content, fruit firmness and tolerance to post-harvest disease. However, reports on many other important breeding characteristics associated with fruit quality and production are still lacking, indicating a need for streamlined genome editing approaches and tools in Fragaria ×ananassa. In this review, we present an overview of the latest advancements in knowledge and breeding efforts involving CRISPR/Cas genome editing for the enhancement of strawberry varieties. Furthermore, we explore potential applications of this technology for improving other Rosaceous plant species.

Keywords: CRISPR/Cas genome editing; genome sequencing; octoploid strawberry; polyploid; transformation.

Publication types

  • Review

Grants and funding

The author(s) declare that financial support was received for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. This research is supported by grants from the United Stated Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Specialty Crops Research Initiative (#2022–51181-38328).