The erosion of plant genetic resources and the global climate changes confront us with enormous challenges including biotic and abiotic stresses (Arzani and Ashraf, 2016).
Add to these limitations the fact that date palm ( L.) is composed of genetically discrete clones representing thousands of cultivars without the benefits of a dynamic mutation-recombination system (Al-Khayri et al., 2015).
Additionally, several biotic and abiotic stresses further worsen the situation.
Previously, biotechnological approaches, such as plant tissue culture, marker-assisted breeding and DNA finger printing, have been used in date palm genomics but failed to bring a significant improvement.
Whereas, multiplexing in CRISPR/Cas9 system requires only multiple sg RNAs jointly expressed with the Cas9 (detailed discussion in Section “Verifications of the Genome Editing Events in Date Palm”).
CRISPR/Cas9 system has been modified into a two-component system; Cas9 and an sg RNA.
In comparison to all these three GE tools, CRISPR/Cas9 offers several advantages over TALENs and ZFNs which include target design simplicity, improved efficacy and precision, multiplexing, least off-targets, ability to target multiple alleles, cost effective, easy delivery and execution, and availability of techniques to design and evaluate the designed single-guide RNA (sg RNA).
Such a situation brought severe genetic erosion of many productive cultivars and trembled the date palm agro-biodiversity in many areas (Jain et al., 2011).By using these GE tools, genome modifications have been accomplished in various plants by ZFNs (Shukla et al., 2009; Townsend et al., 2009; Zhang and Voytas, 2011; Curtin et al., 2013; Pater et al., 2013; Qi et al., 2013) and TALENs (Christian et al., 2013; Sun et al., 2013; Wendt et al., 2013; Zhang et al., 2013).Recently developed CRISPR/Cas9 has gained popularity among the scientific community in a short period of time.This majestic plant is known as “Tree of life” since the settlements of ancient human in the hot and barren parts of the world.Besides a nutritious source of human diet, it is a continuous source of raw material for housing, sheltering, and handicrafts in the harsh dry environments of Southwest Asia and North Africa (Jain et al., 2011).