Next-Generation Sequencing and the CRISPR-Cas Nexus: A Molecular Plant Virology Perspective

Muhammad Shafiq Shahid, Muhammad Naeem Sattar, Zafar Iqbal, Amir Raza, Abdullah M. Al-Sadi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, next-generation sequencing (NGS) and contemporary Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)-CRISPR-associated (Cas) technologies have revolutionized the life sciences and the field of plant virology. Both these technologies offer an unparalleled platform for sequencing and deciphering viral metagenomes promptly. Over the past two decades, NGS technologies have improved enormously and have impacted plant virology. NGS has enabled the detection of plant viruses that were previously undetectable by conventional approaches, such as quarantine and archeological plant samples, and has helped to track the evolutionary footprints of viral pathogens. The CRISPR-Cas-based genome editing (GE) and detection techniques have enabled the development of effective approaches to virus resistance. Different versions of CRISPR-Cas have been employed to successfully confer resistance against diverse plant viruses by directly targeting the virus genome or indirectly editing certain host susceptibility factors. Applications of CRISPR-Cas systems include targeted insertion and/or deletion, site-directed mutagenesis, induction/expression/repression of the gene(s), epigenome re-modeling, and SNPs detection. The CRISPR-Cas toolbox has been equipped with precision GE tools to engineer the target genome with and without double-stranded (ds) breaks or donor templates. This technique has also enabled the generation of transgene-free genetically engineered plants, DNA repair, base substitution, prime editing, detection of small molecules, and biosensing in plant virology. This review discusses the utilities, advantages, applications, bottlenecks of NGS, and CRISPR-Cas in plant virology.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - Jan 12 2021


  • CRISPR associated (Cas) proteins
  • genome editing
  • next generation sequencing (NGS)
  • plant viruses

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