Crop Biotech Update

Multiplex Gene Editing Changes How Plants Grow

July 12, 2023

Technological and scientific advancements have improved in the past two decades. Today, the combination of genomics, gene editing, and artificial intelligence is propelling the next wave of breeding advancements.

With tools such as CRISPR, plant breeders can cut a specific DNA sequence, then rely on the cell's natural DNA repair mechanisms to introduce changes at that site. The outcomes are just like those of traditional breeding but conducted in less time, with much greater precision and far fewer resources. Single edits are not, however, able to alleviate some of the world's biggest challenges which call for increasing yield with reduced use of natural resources. Multiplex gene editing, an advanced form of gene editing in which multiple edits are made to multiple genes at the same time, can help in these challenges, with the potential to meaningfully change how plants grow and use resources.

Multiplex gene editing is significant. At Inari in Massachusetts, the technology can increase yields by 10-20% in corn, soybeans, and wheat, up to 20 times the current industry average. Scientists at Inari are also using multiplex gene editing to reduce corn's need for nitrogen fertilizer and water by 40% without sacrificing productivity.

For more details, read the article on the Inari website.

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