A new horizon for genome editing of crops

The goal is to enhance food security and environmental sustainability — everywhere

 

The Genome Editing and Food Security and Environmental Sustainability project is under the guidance of Dr. Jaswinder Singh (right).photo: Supplied

In the realm of food production, most people are unaware of just how far agriculture has come. Consider how many plants used for food thousands of years ago are still being used today, but are virtually unrecognizable.

By the mid-1900s, selective breeding had become more scientific than ever, but it still required upwards of 15 years to develop a single variety. Today, with the use of molecular markers and other technologies, researchers and plant breeders have cut that timeline roughly in half.

Next, the field of genome editing has the potential to chop that lag time to one or two years, with the goal of improving hybrids and varieties and strengthening their resistance to any variety of stresses. Read more.