Gene Drive Supplement

Experts Say Gene Drive Specifics Important to Policies, Assessment, Application

May 25, 2022

ISAAA Webinars tackled the different kinds of gene drive technology and how to take them into account when developing policies that will oversee this beneficial technology.

ISAAA Inc., the ISAAA Biotechnology Information Network, and the Outreach Network for Gene Drive Research conducted the webinar Gene Drive Organisms: There is no one size fits all on May 19, 2022 via Zoom. This is the first part of the 2022 Gene Drive Webinar Series designed to encourage discourses about regulation considerations and the processes that gene drive development goes through before deployment.

ISAAA Inc. Executive Director, Dr. Rhodora Romero-Aldemita, started the session with the opening remarks, housekeeping rules, and the introduction of the moderator. Dr. Guan-Hong Wang of the Chinese Academy of Sciences moderated the discussions. Dr. Alekos Simoni, Scientific Manager at the Polo d'Innovazione di Genomica, Genetica e Biologia (Polo GGB), talked about the different types of gene drive, such as homing-based, threshold-dependent, split-drive, and sex distorter. He explained that the selection of gene drive to be implemented depends on several factors, thus, there is no single type that can be applied to all. Dr. Owain Edwards, Group Leader at the Environmental and Synthetic Genomics at CSIRO Land & Water, presented the considerations in developing policies for the gene drive technology while integrating its different applications and mechanisms as appropriate for a safe and successful gene drive research and application.

During the open discussions, several participants asked questions about the use of gene drive on plants and bacteria, and the potential effects of the technology on the environment and the food chain. Participants also asked for more details about how to effectively apply the different types of gene drives according to different situations and goals.

The webinar ended with the closing remarks and synthesis by Dr. Mahaletchumy Arujanan, ISAAA-BioTrust Global Coordinator and Executive Director of the Malaysian Biotechnology Information Center.

Visit ISAAA Webinars or send an email to for more information about the 2022 Gene Drive Webinar Series.

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