Date: 11th September 2019
Title: Genome editing in industrial plant breeding: challenges and perspectives
Location: Meeting room 511, Korona Info Centre, Viikinkaari 11
Host: Kristiina Mäkinen
Abstract: Over the last few years genome editing has rapidly evolved as one of the most powerful and revolutionary technologies in modern biology. With the continuous development of improvements in CRISPR and other nuclease systems, the basic methodologies have now been well established. To apply these methods to the breeding of crop plant, the focus in research has shifted to the development of delivery methods of genome editing reagents to plant cells, and the regeneration of edited cells to fertile plants in a range of crops. The seminar will cover KeyGene’s approach to developing genome editing technologies in a non-transgenic manner, and its downstream applications in plant breeding, such as creating single or multiple base changes, chromosomal inversions or homologous recombination events, and examples will be given of actual editing targets in crop plants. The economic perspectives of genome editing in agriculture are partly determined by the regulatory regime covering the products of this technology, and the situation in Europe, USA and elsewhere will be briefly discussed. The H2020 CHIC project will be presented as a showcase on both technical and regulatory aspects.
Michiel de Both is a plant cell biologist and plant genetic engineer by training. After a postdoc in the biotech lab of Limagrain seed company in Clermont-Ferrand, France, he joined agrobiotech company KeyGene in 1991. His research interests are the development of genome editing methods in plants, plant stem cell and regeneration and 3D bioprinting of plant cells. For many years he has been heading a team involved in developing oligonucleotide-directed mutagenesis and zinc finger nuclease and CRISPR-based genome editing in plant cells using non-transgenic and DNA-free methods. Current research interests are the implementation of novel (non-Cas9) CRISPR systems and of base editing in crop plants, and the unraveling of the molecular basis of regeneration and recalcitrance.