The year of 1928 represents the beginning for plant mutagenesis when Lewis Stadler reported on X‑ray induced mutants in maize and barley. On the 90th anniversary of this landmark event there is “a new kid in town” – gene editing – which quickly turned out to become a precision tool for induced mutagenesis in any biological organism. The latest generation of gene editing is based on various “flavours” of the CRISPR/Cas9 system, which is the reason why our symposium has the title “CRISPRing – A New Beginning for the Genetic Improvement of Plants and Microbes”.

It is appropriate and timely to convene an international symposium to review recent progress that has been achieved in the field of CRISPR-mediated gene editing in plants and microbes. With a broad coverage of topics the symposium will represent a forum for addressing current scientific interest and for exchanging research experience and developments. This symposium will not only address technical aspects of gene editing but will also cover socio-economic impact and regulatory issues related to future products and developments in the field.