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Gene Editing

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A talk for an agriculture audience to introduce them to new gene editing technologies and how they are changing plant and animal breeding. Presented June 6, 2016 at GCREC in Balm, FL

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Gene Editing

  1. 1. Kevin M. Folta Professor and Chairman Horticultural Sciences Department kfolta.blogspot.com @kevinfolta kfolta@ufl.edu www.talkingbiotechpodcast.com slideshare.net/kevinfolta You Can’t Stop This Train-- Gene Editing
  2. 2. Plant (?) Genetic Improvement
  3. 3. Why not just use breeding? Think trees! Backcrossing removes undesirable genes/alleles.
  4. 4. Gene Editing Not adding a gene, changing the gene that is present so that it stops function or creates a known change. Still strong opposition from activist NGOs Some countries have taken stands on the issue Stands to generate rapid improvement of crop plants, especially where traditional breeding is long (trees)
  5. 5. Gene Editing CRISPR/Cas9 -- a bacterial system that can be used to change DNA sequences, with no ‘genetic engineering’ sequences left behind.
  6. 6. CRISPR Cas9 Hardware Guide RNA Software You need… The organism to change, the DNA that encodes the hardware to make the change, and the information for what to change.
  7. 7. Gene edited tree (contains CRISPR Cas9 hardware)
  8. 8. Gene edited tree (contains CRISPR Cas9 hardware) Elite Variety X
  9. 9. Gene edited tree (contains CRISPR Cas9 hardware) Elite Variety X
  10. 10. Gene edited tree (contains CRISPR Cas9 hardware) You need… The organism to change, the DNA that encodes the hardware to make the change, and the information for what to change. Elite Variety
  11. 11. Gene Editing You can make information based, precise, changes. Small tweaks to elite cultivars. The “hardware” can be removed by crossing. Final product indistinguishable from conventional breeding
  12. 12. Gene Editing Horn Gene Horn Gene NO HORNS!!! Good beef Bad milkHORNS!!! Bad beef Great milk
  13. 13. Gene Editing Horn Gene Horn Gene NO HORNS!!! Good beef Bad milkHORNS!!! Bad beef Great milk Cross…. Mix of bad beef, bad milk production
  14. 14. Gene Editing Horn Gene Horn Gene NO HORNS!!! Good beef Bad milkHORNS!!! Bad beef Great milk Horn Gene NO HORNS!!! Bad beef Good milk Episode 002
  15. 15. Changing domestic pigs’ DNA to provide resistance to African Swine Fever Episode 037
  16. 16. ConservationConservation
  17. 17. Can we use these technologies to repatriate lost species? Can we restore lost ecosystems? De-extinction?
  18. 18. Communication:Communication: Lead with your values.Lead with your values. Build the case with logic.Build the case with logic.
  19. 19. Farmers The Needy Environment Consumers Talking CRISPR to public audiences What are our common concerns? What are our shared values?
  20. 20. Farmers The Needy Environment Consumers Talking CRISPR to public audiences Gene Editing technologies allow us to make precise change in genetic material that match what we could do with breeding or evolution– if we had hundreds/thousands/millions of years.
  21. 21. Conclusion: Plant genetic improvement is the cornerstone of human civilization. Traditional techniques were random yet accepted. Modern techniques are precise yet questioned. Gene editing (CRISPR/Cas9) brings new precision to genetic alternations, that are indistinguishable from traditional breeding– other than their speed.
  22. 22. Thank you kfolta.blogspot.com @kevinfolta www.talkingbiotechpodcast.com Slides online at slideshare.net/kevinfolta kfolta@ufl.edu Dr. Norman Borlaug

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