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Review Article|17 Jul 2021|OPEN
Transgenic and genome-edited fruits: background, constraints, benefits, and commercial opportunities
Maria Lobato-Gómez1, Seanna Hewitt2, Teresa Capell1, Paul Christou1,3, Amit Dhingra2 & Patricia Sarai Girón-Calva1,
1Department of Crop and Forest Sciences, University of Lleida-Agrotecnio CERCA Center, Lleida 25198, Spain
2Department of Horticulture, Washington State University, PO Box, 646414 Pullman, WA, USA
3ICREA, Catalan Institute for Research and Advanced Studies, 08010 Barcelona, Spain

Horticulture Research 8,
Article number: 166 (2021)
doi: 10.1038/hortres.2021.166
Views: 207

Received: 25 Jan 2021
Revised: 14 Apr 2021
Accepted: 20 May 2021
Published online: 17 Jul 2021


Breeding has been used successfully for many years in the fruit industry, giving rise to most of today’s commercial fruit cultivars. More recently, new molecular breeding techniques have addressed some of the constraints of conventional breeding. However, the development and commercial introduction of such novel fruits has been slow and limited with only five genetically engineered fruits currently produced as commercial varieties—virus-resistant papaya and squash were commercialized 25 years ago, whereas insect-resistant eggplant, non-browning apple, and pink-fleshed pineapple have been approved for commercialization within the last 6 years and production continues to increase every year. Advances in molecular genetics, particularly the new wave of genome editing technologies, provide opportunities to develop new fruit cultivars more rapidly. Our review, emphasizes the socioeconomic impact of current commercial fruit cultivars developed by genetic engineering and the potential impact of genome editing on the development of improved cultivars at an accelerated rate.