French Gene Technology and Bayer to ‘Unlock’ Food Crop Diversity

08/04/2016 - 3 minutes

Meiogenix (France) has signed with Bayer Crop Science (Germany) for use of their gene-editing platform, to try and ‘Unlock’ crop genetic diversity and improve food security.

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Launched in 2011, this Parisian biotech was a spin-off of the Institut Curie and the French Agricultural Agency (INRA) after successfully raised funding.

Now, under this non-exclusive agreement, Meiogenix will provide Bayer access to their SpiX technology and the research it has built over the years through different programs in rice, maize and wheat.

Meiogenix is developing complementary breakthrough technologies (such as SpiX) to increase the amount of meiotic recombination – an exchange of genetic material during cell division.

SpiX is a fusion protein platform based on the research of Alain Nicolas at the Institut Curie, to amplify the amount of genetic diversity within plant species through natural breeding.

Nicolas and team fused an endonuclease enzyme responsible for initiating the meiotic recombination (Spo11) to a DNA binding domain (originally GAL4).

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