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Science Speaks - Blog by ISAAA

First Commercialized Gene-edited Plant Developed Using TALENs

By Kristine Grace N. Tome
January 13, 2021

Transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) have been successfully used to develop premium quality high-oleic soybean oil from gene-edited soybean plants. The successful introduction of the new soybean oil into the U.S. food industry may signify that food manufacturers and consumers are now welcoming scientific innovation, particularly gene-editing, to have access to healthier foods.


Oils with low polyunsaturated fats are considered to be a healthier alternative to those high in polyunsaturated fats which can be hydrogenated and produce unhealthy trans-fatty acids. Soybean lines with low levels of polyunsaturated fats were developed using TALENs by introducing stacked mutations in two fatty acid desaturase 2 genes (FAD2-1A and FAD2-1B) which confer changes in fatty acid desaturase 3A (FAD3A). This led to oleic acid levels of over 80% and linoleic acid levels under 4%. 

The gene-edited soybean plants produce premium quality high-oleic soybean oil sold as Calyno by Calyxt. It became available in the U.S. market in 2019, making it the first commercialized product from a gene-edited plant. 

Read more breakthroughs in plant breeding contributed by TALENs from Pocket K No. 59.



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