Precision mutagenesis: Are new genome crop editing technologies more ‘natural’?

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Over the past 10,000 years—and especially in recent decades, as agricultural technology has improved—plant breeders have coaxed crops to be increasingly easier to farm. This has involved, in part, selectively breeding plants for high yields of fruit, seeds, or whatever other edible bits we want to eat, as well as making those bits more harvestable.

But selective breeding also can drive the loss of other potentially useful characteristics, such as resistance to insect pests or environmental stresses including drought and flood. In a new review paper, which published in Trends in Plant Science, researchers from the University of Copenhagen propose to identify genes responsible for these characteristics and—in a twist on “rewilding,” a conservation concept that aims to bring landscapes back to an allegedly more natural state—genetically engineer modern crops to be more like their heartier ancestors.

Read full, original article: Can new GMO techniques make crops that are more “natural”?

  • First Officer

    Interesting. I wonder if this technique could evolve into something that could create GMO’s that would be indistinguishable from that that would be the result of just a bunch of lucky mutations.