Biotech Updates

Rise of the First Gene-edited Soybean Welcomes New CRISPR Foods

July 3, 2019

Calyno oil represents the first cultivated plant that used gene-editing and was commercialized. Compared to oil from conventional soybeans, Calyno oil contains about 80% oleic acid and up to 20% less saturated fatty acids compared to commodity soybean oil.

In gene regulation, techniques such as mutation, selection, hybridization, and classical breeding have been done to breed new genotypes that are able to adapt to changing environmental conditions. However, for decades now, artificial mutations using radioactive rays have allowed plant breeders to develop thousands of varieties of genotypes. New plant breeding innovations such as CRISPR are used as part of gene regulation. Using this method, no transfer of genes from external species are needed like it is with GMOs. Instead, a target gene is manipulated using DNA-cutting enzymes, creating new genotypes. 

Before GMO crops are released for the consumption of the public, the crops first undergo health and environment safety tests, making the whole process of commercialization very expensive. On the other hand, genotypes developed from gene editing cost about a tenth of developing GMOs. This allows low-budget startups, universities and public institutions to get involved. This opportunity led to crop gene editing projects to rise globally. 

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