GFM Network News


This illustration shows how CRISPR-Cas9 technology could be used to genomically edit a species of the streptococcus bacterium. The Cas9 nuclease protein (in blue) uses a guide RNA sequence (purple) to cut DNA (green) at a complementary site.

Where are the Canadian genome-editing startups?

Looser regulations give the U.S. an edge in GE product development, but Canadians are working on gene editing, too

Genome editing has made some major strides in the past year. Minnesota-based Calyxt struck a deal with a processor to make oil from its GE soybeans, in which the genes responsible for trans fats have been ‘turned off.’ And SU Canola (a sulfonyurea herbicide-resistant variety) was given its Canadian commercial release a year ago by […] Read more



GMO rules cover plant gene editing technique, top EU court says

Brussels | Reuters — Crops obtained by plant breeding technique mutagenesis should fall under laws restricting the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), Europe’s highest court said on Wednesday, in a victory for environmental campaigners. The biotech industry had argued that much of mutagenesis, or gene editing, is effectively little different to the mutagenesis that […] Read more

Genome editing will not only revolutionize plant breeding, it will offer advances with wide public benefits such as making crops more resilient in the face of climate change, says Stacy Singer, a forage breeder and biotechnologist at the Lethbridge Research and Development Centre. Singer is shown here with sainfoin plants, a bloat-free type of alfalfa. Her colleague, Surya Acharya, bred a more hardy variety of the forage using conventional methods but the breeding process took many years.

The next frontier of plant breeding

Advocates say game-changing genome editing is completely different from genetic engineering — but will the public agree?

Farmers need to get in front of the messaging about genome editing technology — or risk seeing it suffer the same fate as GMOs in the court of public opinion. That’s the warning from the chair of Alberta Wheat’s research committee, who is one of many who fears genome editing is going to get lumped […] Read more



U.S. patent agency to weigh rival claims on CRISPR

Reuters — The U.S. patent agency on Tuesday will hear arguments in a heated dispute over who was first to invent a revolutionary gene-editing technology known as CRISPR. Hundreds of millions of dollars may be at stake, as the technology promises commercial applications in treating genetic diseases, engineering crops, and other areas. CRISPR works as […] Read more