IITA paper on genome editing among most read Open Access journal

6 November 2020

A paper by an IITA Principal Scientist, Leena Tripathi, on ‘CRISPR/Cas9 editing of endogenous banana streak virus in the B genome of Musa spp. overcomes a major challenge in banana breeding’ was the second most downloaded paper in Communications Biology, an open access (OA) journal. The paper has had more than 12,000 downloads to date, 51 citations, 245 tweets, 16 news outlets, two Facebook pages quoting it, three blogs, one Wikipedia page, and 113 Mendeley citations. Communications Biology released these details in celebration of Open Access Week. Open Access journals do not charge subscription fees, i.e., the publications are available to the public free of charge.

IITA paper on genome editing among most read Open Access journal
Regeneration of genome-edited events by delivering CRISPR/Cas9 construct through Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of cell suspension of Gonja Manjaya. (fig. from the paper)

The article is about the integrated endogenous banana streak virus (eBSV) in the B genome of plantain (AAB). Banana Streak Virus presents a significant challenge for breeding and disseminating hybrids since it activates into infectious viral particles under stress. Seventy-five percent of the edited events were asymptomatic compared to the non-edited control plants under water stress conditions, confirming the inactivation of eBSV into infectious viral particles. The study paves the way for improving B genome germplasm and its use in breeding programs to produce hybrids that can be globally disseminated.

Tripathi highlighted how OA publishing has helped advance her career: “Open Access has enhanced the visibility, accessibility, and the impact of my research and development activities and improves the speed, efficiency, and efficacy of the research. With Open Access, I am just one click away from advanced science-related publications without any financial burden on my publicly funded research. Open Access articles have provided publicity for my research, which, in return, have increased my connections and funding for our research.”

IITA paper on genome editing among most read Open Access journal

For Tripathi and other CGIAR researchers, publishing in Open Access is also about compliance. “We need to follow the CGIAR Open Access Policy. Publishing in Open Access enables compliance with an increasing number of donor policies (e.g., Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Open Access Policy, USAID Open Data Policy). It also empowers researchers to improve efficiencies and enhance innovation and impact in an era of complex and large data sets. Several funding agencies supporting research can achieve more prominence through Open Access,” Tripathi said in a recent interview.

“Open Access seeks to return scholarly publishing to its original purpose, which is to spread knowledge and allow that knowledge to be built upon. Price barriers should not prevent students (or anyone) from getting access to the research they need. Publishing in Open Access Journals increases the visibility of one’s research since more people can download and read the paper,” states their website.