A genome-editing technology that revolutionized the food science industry when it came out on the market in 2012 will now be part of Monsanto’s R&D.
The leading global seed supplier recently announced that they grabbed the global licensing rights for the use of the CRISPR-Cas genome-editing technology in agriculture with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.
“The license to CRISPR-Cas from the Broad Institute provides access to an exciting tool for our growing body of genome-editing research,” said Tom Adams, Ph.D., biotechnology lead for Monsanto. “Genome-editing technology is complementary to our ongoing discovery research and provides an incredible resource to further unlock our world-leading germplasm and genome libraries.”
CRISPR-Cas works by making precisely-targeted modifications in a cell’s DNA, similar to the search-and-replace function in modern-day word processing applications. Genome-editing technologies, such as CRISPR-Cas, offer a way for scientists to promote site-directed integration of specific genes as well as the opportunity to enhance beneficial or remove undesired plant characteristics. These techniques will enable plant breeders to deliver better hybrids and varieties more efficiently.