The Top 5 Plant Genomics Articles of 2018
Posted 26th December 2018 by Jane Williams
It has been an eventful year for plant genomics: we’ve seen advancements in plant disease research, the sequencing of the wheat genome, which was finally achieved through a worldwide collaboration of researchers spanning 13 years, and the ruling on the legal status of gene-edited crops.
As 2018 draws to a close, we thought it was a good time to reflect. Here, we’ve collated our top articles of the year.
The Long Shadow of the European Ruling on New Breeding Technologies
Posted 1st August 2018 by Jane Williams
Last week, the European Court of Justice ruled that gene-edited crops are equivalent to transgenic GMOs. The court ruling came as a surprise because it negates a preliminary opinion that was issued by the court’s Advocate General Michael Bobek in January 2018. This reactionary ECJ ruling might become the final nail in the coffin of the European Agbiotech sector and many scientists, including myself, are concerned that it will discourage the use of genome editing in agriculture.
Gaining Public Confidence in Genetically Modified Products
Posted 9th July 2018 by Jane Williams
Despite the fact that GMs have been around for over thirty years, they still ignite debate. We spoke to Professor Jim Dunwell, University of Reading, at the 6th Plant Genomics & Gene Editing Congress: Europe to discuss the steps that should be taken to gain the public’s confidence.
Regulatory aspects of gene-edited crops: A Q&A with Jim Dunwell
Posted 22nd June 2018 by Jane Williams
On January 2018, Michal Bobek, in a preliminary judgement in a case at the European Court of Justice, advised that “organisms obtained by mutagenesis” should not be seen as genetically modified, unless they contained recombinant nuclear acid molecules or other GM organisms. 
To regulate or not to regulate: Current legal status for gene-edited crops
Posted 4th May 2018 by Jane Williams
Gene editing is the latest and sexiest DNA editing tool in the continuum of plant breeding innovations. With genetically modified organism (GMO) technology, scientists introduce “foreign” genes, i.e. genes from a different organism, into crops. With gene editing, scientists create additional genetic variation by making precise changes to the existing crop’s genome. It offers great opportunities, but also creates regulatory challenges.