Brooke Borel, 14 March 2017, Nature News, http://www.nature.com/news/crispr-microbes-and-more-are-joining-the-war-against-crop-killers-1.21633
With the green revolution of the 1970s, the amount of pesticides and herbicides applied to crops skyrocketed. While this led to an unprecedented increase in crop yields it has also led resistance to many of the synthetic chemicals used. This has created a crisis where once powerful pesticides and herbicides have been rendered useless. To maintain current yields new chemicals are required. One method to develop new products is to turn to microbes that already produce pesticidal compounds. Using CRISPR to edit these organisms, scientists hope to develop a new generation of biopesticides and plants naturally resistant to crop pests.