We develop, improve, and harness CRISPR-Cas genome engineering technologies for targeted improvement of plant traits and engineering cells for synthetic biology applications. Our primary goal is to use the power of these technologies and existing knowledge and translate these into improved plant resilience to climate change, biotic and abiotic resistance, and yield, thereby enhancing food security. In addition, we enhance traits related to food quality and explore new avenues to improve food systems via genome engineering, such as neo-domestication.
Delivery of genetic cargo into plants remains a key limitation in crop improvement and therefore, we develop technologies to improve the delivery of genetic cargos into plant cells. We use viruses to deliver guide RNAs systematically for engineering single and multiple genes for trait improvement and functional gene analysis. We also employ nanomaterials for the physical delivery of genetic cargo into plants.