Crops Successfully Edited with CRISPR have no Transgenes! Is this Still GMO?

02/12/2015 - 3 minutes

The CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing tool is allowing rapid scientific advances in many fields, including human health. Now it has been shown that crop research can also benefit the fight for improved Food Security.

brassica_crispr_john_innes_centreResearch at the John Innes Centre and the Sainsbury Lab (UK) have successfully edited crops so that future generations of these veggies have all the benefits of gene editing, but without the associated transgenes. This technically means these crops are not considered Genetically modified….which is a massive deal when considering the Food biosafety laws and GMO contraversy spanning the EU…

This was done by segregating and removing the transgenes used during the editing process, so that the offspring of the test plants were indistinguishable in their genetic makeup from plants which have been bred traditionally.

Published in Genome Biology on Monday, the aim was to see whether using CRISPR would produce changes in targeted sections of DNA in both types of plant (monocots and dicots).

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