Enhancing Photosynthesis: a Big Deal
Posted 10th July 2019 by Jane Williams
The PhotoSeed Technology
Enhancing photosynthesis is a critical step to increasing crop yields. This complex 156 step biochemical process has been the subject of many studies in multiple crops. While some step wise gains have been made, the true potential for increasing photosynthesis has not been realized potentially due to the negative feedback mechanisms that exist within plants to regulate this process.
A global perspective on the developments in biotech regulations
Posted 28th June 2019 by Jane Williams
The ECJ ruling on GMOs has raised pertinent issues. How will it impact on current and future research? What are the optimum routes to progressing plant research?
In light of the ruling, it was a good time to welcome experts in policy and regulatory affairs to the recent 7th Plant Genomics & Gene Editing Congress: Europe to explore these issues. We’re lucky to be able to share this presentation from the event for those that weren’t able to make it. Watch it here.
Assessment of the European Court of Justice ruling on gene editing for crop improvement
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.
Using pathogen genome-informed strategies to understand the molecular mechanism plant disease
Posted 12th April 2019 by Joshua Sewell
A key feature of our Congresses is the opportunity given to early career researchers to present their work.
At the upcoming 7th Plant Genomics & Gene Editing Congress: Europe, Egem Ozbudak will be one of four early career researchers to be given a 15-minute platform to present their work and receive a free registration pass for both days of the conference.
He will be discussing his research project on Colletotrichum acutatum, the causative agent of anthracnose crown and fruit rot, recognized as the second most important pathogen of strawberries on the globe due to its economic impacts.
Bridging the policy-practice divide in genome-editing for agriculture
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.
Navigating the European Court of Justice stance on GMOs
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.
What kind of plant genes allow crops to shape the rhizosphere microbiota?
Posted 6th March 2019 by Joshua Sewell
In my lab we aim to decipher the genetic basis of plant-microbe interactions taking place at the root-soil interface, in the so called “rhizosphere”. Microbes in this environment, collectively referred to as the rhizosphere microbiota, can enhance mineral mobilisation for plant uptake and crop protection, thereby representing a yet untapped resource for sustainable agriculture.
Utilising Machine Learning Models to transform Plant Genomics
Posted 25th February 2019 by Joshua Sewell
A lot of machine learning is used in technology such as Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri, or to get rid of spam in your email inbox. Deep learning and rapid development of this technology enables us to solve image classification problems – e.g. “does this picture contain a dog or a cat?”. Also, artificial intelligence is set to soon replace many human jobs – in the darkest views, it might even pose an existential threat to the human race.
What repercussions do these developments have for genome-related research and in particular plant genomics?