How Scientists use CRISPR to make tree for sustainable fiber production

CRISPR editing has enabled scientists to design wood in which lignin, which must be cleaved and dissolved so fiber production can take place, is more suitable for fiber production.


  • The CRISPR is a gene-editing technology that received the Nobel Prize in 2020.
  • These are short DNA sequences found in the genome of prokaryotic organisms such as bacteria, which are reminders of previous bacteriophage (viruses) attacks that the bacteria successfully defended against.
  • Cas9 enzyme uses these flags to precisely target and cut any foreign DNA, thus protecting the bacteria from future attacks by similar bacteriophages.

Uses of CRISPR

  • CRISPR-Cas9 technology is used in basic studies of gene function, agricultu- re, and medicine to increase knowledge of disease processes and their po- tential future therapies.
  • Lowering the amount of lignin in wood using CRISPR means increasing the amount of cellulose in the wood, so less biomass is needed to yield the same amount of cellulose.
  • Removing lignin from wood would require less harsh chemicals.
  • Removing lignin from wood during the pulping process is energy intensive.
    Wood with less lignin would allow savings of both energy and chemicals.

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