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Plant Genomics

The future of GMOs, gene editing and plant biotechnology in post-Brexit UK

Growing and selling genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is permitted in the UK but GMO products are subject to a lengthy and stringent EU authorization process. There are currently no GM crops grown commercially in the UK, but they are imported. So, what is the UK’s relationship with GM products, and where do we stand on gene editing? We spoke with Nigel Halford, Principal Research Scientist at Rothamsted Research, UK.

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Sustainably Improving Crop Yield and Composition through Enhanced Photosynthesis

Understandably, one of the main themes of the recent Plant Genomics & Gene Editing Congress: USA was how research and industry can enable farmers and plant growers to meet the growing challenges of global food security. In his presentation, Greg Bryan introduced us to ZeaKal, a photosynthesis company developing solutions for farmers.

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Acrylamide, Plant Genomics and the Food Industry

Ahead of the 8th Plant Genomics and Gene Editing Congress, we asked keynote speaker Nigel Halford, Principal Research Scientist at Rothamsted Research, UK, to share with us the background to his research…

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Presentation Slides from the 7th Plant Genomics & Gene Editing Congress: USA

The recent 7th Plant Genomics Congress: USA provided a fantastic opportunity to discover how novel gene-editing technologies, CRISPR and other ‘omics’ technologies are being applied to research and product development. We have made the following slides from Jerry Feitelson, Lynne Reuber, Greg Bryan and Chloe Pavely available to view.

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Even with genetic modification, resistance may be a nasty problem

Natural resistance to our methods to control pests and weeds is a brand new phenomenon, historically speaking. It only evolved as mankind started to use chemical, and later biotechnological means to control nature. Genetic modification may not be the answer to resistance. Attempts to control pests and weeds by growing GM plants run into the same problem as the application of chemical agents. But still, nature may provide some answers.

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Slides from the Plant Genomics & Gene Editing Congress: Europe

The latest event in the Plant Genomics series provided two days of intriguing topics and case studies, not least concerning the ECJ ruling on gene editing and Machine Learning techniques in plant genomics. We have made the following presentation slides available from Ian Bancroft, Anna Coll, Aalt-Jan van Dijk, Nigel Halford, and Jurriaan Ton.

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Excellence in Breeding: developing breeding programs in Africa and South Asia

Kelly Robbins is Assistant Professor at Cornell University. He started his career in animal breeding and later went on to work as a quantitative geneticist at a large private seed company. We spoke to him ahead of his presentation at the 7th Plant Genomics and Gene Editing Congress: USA.

I came to Cornell University as director of a large project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation called the Genomic Open-Source Breeding Informatics Initiative (GOBII for short).

With the cost of sequencing rapidly declining, it seems inevitable that routine of genomic information in breeding programs in Africa and South Asia will become more prevalent. However, there are certain capabilities, tools, and technologies that need to be in place to be able to exploit this type of information effectively and use it to drive higher rates of genetic gains.

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The Plant Genomics and Gene Editing Congress Presentation Slides

Following the Plant Genomics and Gene Editing Congress: Europe, we have made the following presentation slides from Ana Atanassova, Ian Bancroft, Nigel Halford and Kim Hammond-Kossack available.

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