In the news...

CRISPR might be the banana’s only hope against a deadly fungus

September 25th, 2019 / Nature, UK

The race to engineer the next-generation banana is on. The Colombian government confirmed last month that a banana-killing fungus has invaded the Americas — the source of much of the world’s banana supply. The invasion has given new urgency to efforts to create fruit that can withstand the scourge.

Scientists are …

Inducible CRISPR-Cas9 improves the precision of genome editing in rice

September 19th, 2019 / ISAAA, US

DNA delivery into tissue cultures is a simple method for expressing CRISPR-Cas9 and creating genome edits in the plants. This approach, however, allows strong doses of CRISPR-Cas9 to persist far beyond the incidence of targeting i.e. until genetic segregation of the Cas9 gene.

Although precision is an inherent quality of CRISPR-Cas9, the strong persistent doses in numerous cells throughout the …

SATI gene editing could replace CRISPR

September 13th, 2019 / News – Medical, Life Sciences, UK

The ability to edit genes within living cells and organisms at all levels, using tools like the well-known and powerful CRISPR-Cas9, is one of the most sophisticated and useful advances in modern biology. However, the technique has been limited by a myriad of safety concerns.

Now, scientists at the Salk Institute …

CRISPR and other new breeding techniques could be key to unlocking potential of global wheat production

August 30th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru  writes:

To meet a growing global demand for wheat, scientists and policy makers are calling for wider use of new breeding techniques in a quest to increase yields and fight pests, disease and climate change.

While other key commodity crops – including corn, soybeans and cotton – have …

Crop gene editing needs proactive communication plan, scientist warns

August 20th, 2019 / Alliance for Science, US

Effective science and communication collaborations are critical to ensure gene editing technology does not suffer from the “perception problem” now facing genetically modified organisms (GMOs), a plant pathologist warned.

“I want to feed the world sustainably. That’s what motivates me as a scientist,” said Jim Bradeen, head of the Department of …

Video: CRISPRcon 2019 – panel discussion: Growing for good? gene editing and agriculture

August 19th, 2019 / Global Farmer Network

CRISPR and other gene editing technologies could allow us to transform our food, health, and ecological systems. They also raise important questions about risks, benefits, ethics, equity, and more. We know that the science behind gene editing technologies is just one piece of the puzzle. Just as essential is dialogue …

Plant breeding innovation can help solve global challenges

August 12th, 2019

Plant breeding innovations must play a role to address the global challenges such as climate change, a growing population, and the need for resource efficient farming systems. This is according to the Transgenic Research article by Petra Jorasch of the International Seed Federation.

Improved plant varieties that can withstand pests and diseases using fewer resources, plants exhibiting stable yield …

CRISPR conundrum: Strict European court ruling leaves food-testing labs without a plan

July 24th, 2019 / Nature, UK

A landmark European court ruling that made gene-edited crops subject to the same stringent regulations as other genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has created a conundrum for food-testing laboratories across Europe.

The ruling that the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) delivered on 25 July 2018 requires these scattered laboratories — which …

New genome editing technology for plant breeding

July 22nd, 2019 / Phys.org

Researchers have developed a new genome editing technology for rice, combining adenine-to-guanine single-base editing technology and Cas9 with an extended targeting scope. They report that it is possible to efficiently introduce base substitution mutations in rice genes and plan to expand the research to citrus fruit breeding. Read more …

We need policy on new breeding technologies

July 16th, 2019

From The Standard, Kenya

A series of genome editing-related research work in Africa has triggered the need for the continent to develop a dedicated policy for new and precision breeding techniques.

According to experts who are already doing gene editing research, National Biosafety Authorities in the continent need to develop regulations on …