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. 
Posted 13th June 2018 by Jane Williams
We were delighted to welcome Richard Visser, Professor, Chair and Head of Plant Breeding, Dean of Research, Wageningen University & Research, to the 6th Plant Genomics and Gene Editing Congress, where he presented on the use of novel breeding techniques in practical breeding.
Posted 11th May 2018 by Jane Williams
It is a quite common phenomenon in biology: we have identified a gene or a set of genes that are likely to be important for the system we are studying, but we have no clear explanation for why they are important or how they influence the system. For example, in plant genomics, we are often interested in a specific trait and have a genomic locus or a list of candidate genes that might affect this trait. The question is: how can we prioritise these genes in order to proceed to experimental validation?
To this end, it would be extremely useful if we knew the functions of our candidate genes. For instance, if a gene codes for an enzyme, what type of reaction does this enzyme catalyse? And in which pathways might this reaction take place?
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.
Posted 20th December 2017 by Jane Williams
Genome editing is slowly causing, or has perhaps already caused, a paradigm shift in the world of agriculture and in plant genomics in general. The ability to precisely and easily edit genes has never been as widespread before as it is now. The technology is causing a momentous shift towards using genome editing to not only validate gene function but also to create better crop varieties for the sustenance of a growing human population.
Posted 13th October 2017 by Jane Williams
There has been tremendous progress in understanding the molecular basis of disease resistance in plants in the last twenty years. However, translation of this knowledge into practical use has been slow.