A Universal Genetic Switch for Increasing Plant Yields, Stress Tolerance and Perishable Product Shelf Life
Posted 12th February 2020 by Joshua Sewell
Food waste is a significant problem globally and contributes to huge agricultural losses. Roughly one-third of all food is wasted: 1.3 billion tons per year. It is no surprise that the UN has a Sustainable Development Goal of cutting food waste in half by 2030.
Posted 29th November 2019 by Joshua Sewell
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.
Posted 2nd September 2019 by Joshua Sewell
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.
Posted 21st June 2019 by Joshua Sewell
Anyone involved in the field of agriculture and biotechnology would have been unable to ignore the ECJ ruling on case C-528/16 in July 2018. The ruling confirmed that all plants obtained by any form of mutagenesis are GMOs as defined by Directive (EC) no. 2001/18 and rejected an annulment of mutagenesis exemption (Annex IB of Directive 2001/18. With significant ramifications across the industry, the ECJ stance on gene edited crops and GMOs was a major focus of the 7th Plant Genomics & Gene Editing Congress: Europe.
Posted 18th March 2019 by Joshua Sewell
Regulation of emerging technology such as genome editing has mainly focused on responding to the consequences of innovation. The classical regulatory model of “identification-quantification-assessment-safety management” takes a risk-oriented approach to regulation of emerging technology and focuses on constraining the practice of science based on ethics, and administrative and risk management procedures.
Posted 11th March 2019 by Joshua Sewell
“The breeder’s dream is, of course, of an agency which would enable him to produce at will a particular kind of mutation uncontaminated by others which would merely be a nuisance to him….”
“There is as yet no indication from genetics of how, or even whether, this could be done… The dream of directed mutation as a tool in stock and crop improvement is still very much a dream”
These words were part of a lecture given by the well-known geneticist Kenneth Mather at the John Innes Institute in 1960. Now, after more than 50 years of research, his dream of directed mutation has become a reality.
Posted 18th February 2019 by Joshua Sewell
Soil salinity affects a large amount of arable land and is one of the major causes of crop yield reduction worldwide. Rice, a major food crop feeding more than half of the world, is highly susceptible to salinity stress. Developing salt-stress tolerant rice cultivars is essential to sustain world rice production. The major focus of my research at the Maathuis Lab in the Biology Department of the University of York is looking for key players in the complex molecular networks responsible for rice salt-tolerance, and understanding their mode(s) of action.
Posted 15th February 2019 by Joshua Sewell
The inspiration for the development of ‘Speed Breeding’ came from the first food product designed and purposefully bred for growing in space, a variety of wheat called USU-Apogee. Because there is not much space inside the spacecraft, they needed to maximise the number of wheat plants and grow them very quickly.