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CRISPR gene-edited foods

Soon, in a grocery store near you

Genetic researchers working with gene editing, along with farmers and growers, are excited about the potential for CRISPR technology. They hope to expedite solutions to a wide array of pressing concerns including climate change, malnutrition and population growth. Existing food crops can be modified to increase yields and drought and pest resistance.

Geneticliteracyproject.org names these three genetic advancements:

Anti-browning mushrooms: Scientists from Penn State University used CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to disable an enzyme that causes white mushrooms to brown, thereby extending their shelf-life. The mushroom has been cleared by the USDA for commercial cultivation.

Disease-resistant citrus: Scientists hope CRISPR-Cas9 technology may provide a solution to the “citrus greening” disease that is decimating Florida orange groves. By editing the genome of the trees they hope to make them more resistant to the pathogen that causes the disease.

Fungus-resistant bananas:
 The global banana crop is currently under threat from a widespread fungal disease. Australian scientists already have succeeded in introducing resistance via transgenic modification. Now, they hope to use CRISPR-Cas9 techniques to produce disease-resistant bananas without introducing any foreign DNA.

Publication date: 3/8/2018


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