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Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is one of the most important food crops. Various conventional and modern techniques have been employed for improvement in rice. RNA interference (RNAi) is one of the popular reverse genetic strategies being practiced among plant scientists due to its efficiency and specificity. Nowadays, new age-targeted genome editing tools such as transcription activator-like effectors nucleases (TALEN) and clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats (CRISPR/Cas) are becoming popular due to their ability of precise modification of genome sequence and regulation of gene expression patterns in a site-specific manner. Here, we reviewed the utility of RNAi, TALEN and CRISPR/Cas in various aspects of rice improvement such as plant architecture, plant development, biotic and abiotic stress tolerance and qualitative improvement. A comparison of RNAi and targeted genome editing methods will provide some insights for researchers working on improvement of rice.

In: Israel Journal of Plant Sciences