In a nutshell
The term genome editing includes a number of methods. They can all change individual building blocks of DNA in a precise and targeted manner.
Many examples show that this allows new varieties of plants to be bred quicker and more precisely than ever before.
Social acceptance still in the balance
Application in practical plant breeding since 2012.
Application at KWS
KWS investigates the potential of these innovative methods.
Unlike with TALEN and zinc finger, a nucleic acid-protein complex is responsible for binding and cleaving. The nucleic acid recognises where the genome should be cleaved. The protein is responsible for precise cleavage of the DNA. No genes are incorporated – either from a foreign or a closely related species. Here too, mutations are created at predefined points.
These new methods make use of oligonucleotides to change individual DNA building blocks at predefined points in the genome. The result is a mutation, a change in the genetic material (genome), as it also occurs in nature.
Similar to ODM, mutations are also created at predefined points. Proteins (zinc finger nucleases) are used, consisting of two functional areas. The zinc finger part of the protein binds to the desired gene in the genetic material of the plant. The nuclease part is responsible for precise cleavage of the DNA.
Similar to zinc finger, a protein consisting of two functional areas (DNA-binding area and nuclease) is responsible for recognising a certain section in the genetic material and cleaving the DNA at this point. No genes are incorporated – either from a foreign or a closely related species. Mutations are created at predefined points.
*in variants 1/2
People at KWS
Genome editing enables more precise plant breeding. The different applications require a nuanced evaluation on a regulatory level.