Lettuce and tomato are promised to be even healthier if genetic scissors are allowed in the EU – Science

The European Parliament decided that strict GMO regulations do not apply to genetically engineered crops. The final approval is up to the member countries.

Tastier and more nutritious saladan even healthier tomato, better disease-resistant potatoes and wheat.

All of these and much more are promised by editing the genes of crops with the Nobel prize-winning gene scissors, i.e. crispr-cas technology.

The world is at different stages of development 500 different productsin which genetic scissors have been used.

In Japan, gaba, or gamma-aminobutyric acid, is believed to lower blood pressure and provide other health benefits. So you can already find it in the shops there genetically edited tomatowhich has more gaba than usual.

Perhaps the benefits of genetic scissors will soon be available in Europe as well.

European For a long time, the union has restricted the use of genetic technology in plant breeding and the sale of genetically modified (GMO) food with strict regulations. The restrictions also apply to genetically modified food.

European Parlament boat however, at the beginning of February, that the same rules as conventionally bred crops would apply to plants bred with genetic scissors and some other “new genetic technologies”.

The strict regulations on GMO plants would therefore no longer extend to the cultivation and sale of these plants.

Member countries Parliament’s decision still needs to be approved before it enters into force.

How do the new technologies differ from traditional gene editing, which is used to make GMO plants, University of Helsinki plant breeding professor Teemu Teeri?

“The principle is that, in GMO, a gene from another organism, such as a bacterium or another plant, is transferred to the plant, in this case no transfer is made at all. The plant’s own genome is only changed.

With new technologies, mutations are made that are similar to what occurs in nature and which cannot be separated from inheritance afterwards. That is why they should not be subject to the same legislation as GMO plants.”

Gene scissors can be used to remove genes from functioning. What can it achieve?

“In breeding, there are many things that are achieved by removing something. For example, rapeseed and canola originally contained harmful substances.

Breeders have sifted through their screenings and found a plant with a mutation in the gene that makes erucic acid or glucosinolate, which are harmful substances in canola and canola. Now we can make the mutation directly with genetic techniques.”



Banana production could benefit from gene scissors.

What could you do with genetic scissors now?

“It is possible to improve the disease resistance of plants, for example. In the case of barley, it has been possible to find an mla mutation in the plants in the field, which gives it resistance to frost.

It has not been found in wheat because the mutation is so rare. However, it has been done with genetic scissors for wheat, and it works against this fungal disease.

The technique is also important for vegetatively propagated plants, such as potatoes. Breeding a new potato variety is difficult because the variety has to be rebuilt every time. With the help of genetic scissors, it would be possible to bring plague resistance to an already existing variety. Bananas have problems with Panama disease, and you could also find help with gene scissors.

Vegetables, fruits and mushrooms darkening can also be prevented by removing the gene that produces the enzyme that causes darkening.”

By Editor

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