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Crop Biotech Update

IGI Works on Net-Zero Farming and Carbon Capture

August 18, 2021

Innovative Genomics Institute (IGI) is embarking on a series of studies that are aimed at developing scalable nature-based solutions to mitigate climate change.

"While we have viable solutions for reducing greenhouse gas emissions for many sectors, agriculture stands out as a glaring exception, and it accounts for nearly a quarter of all global emissions. Plants and microbes can be part of the solution, versus part of the problem, and genome engineering can help make this scale to meet the size of the challenge," IGI Executive Director Brad Ringeisen said in their press release.

After receiving US$3 million dollars from an anonymous donor, IGI divided the donation as seed funding for four projects:

  • use of CRISPR genetic screens and gene editing to optimize photosynthesis in crop plants for increased food yield and enhanced carbon capture;
  • gene stacking in rice to reduce pesticides and fertilizers and use of gene editing to develop drought tolerant plants;
  • effect of rice root system architecture on microbes that could reduce methane emissions; and
  • genomic and chemical analysis of the soil microbiome of rice paddies, with the ultimate aim of optimizing more long-term carbon storage in the soil and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

All the projects aim to realize the vision of a net-zero farm that preserves food security with decreased input from farmers and greenhouse gas emissions and uses farming to capture and store more carbon from the atmosphere.

Read IGI's press release for more details.

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