French Biotech and Cambridge to improve Food Security with UK Grant

28/04/2016 - 2 minutes

Meiogenix and the University of Cambridge will get fresh money to investigate how epigenomics impacts crop diversity – and how it can be engineered for better yields of wheat.

meiogenix_spix_crop_diversity_epigeneticsBased in Paris, Meiogenix is developing breeding technologies – which already caught the eye of Bayer Crop Science.

One of its platforms is SpiX, which increases the amount of meiotic recombination – including in more conserved genes (‘cold regions’).

Meiogenix will now collaborate with the University of Cambridge, where a group lead by Ian Henderson has studied these cold regions in a model plant (A. thaliana).

The research has shown that meiotic recombination is partly controlled by epigenetics.

If these control mechanisms could be engineered, it would unlock a new tool to increase crop diversity and improve plant breeding – a major challenge as classical breeding has reached its limits.

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