Plant breeding of the future: PLAMORF scientists present major breakthrough in Nature Biotech journal

A field of Rapeseed © Shutterstock
© Shutterstock
What does the gene editing CRISPR/Cas9 technology have to do with grafting to create plants ready for climate change? The CRISPR/Cas9 biotech tool, also called “genetic scissors” can precisely edit DNA to make plants more resilient. The PLAMORF project has developed a ground-breaking twist to the CRISPR tool. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology found a method that could skip the tedious, necessary outcrossing of CRISPR genetic sequences.

A ‘mobile’ CRISPR tool is combined with plant grafting to generate genetically altered plants, without inserting the CRISPR sequence into the target plant DNA. This ground-breaking combination could simplify and speed up the development of novel, genetically stable commercial crop varieties where there is no trace of the CRISPR/Cas9 system in the next generation. This is an exciting biotech development for agriculture that could save time and money.

Download the press release in English or German, have a look at the full scientific publication presenting the results, or watch the short animation below explaining the novel plant breeding technology!

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