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Workshop discusses CRISPR-Cas9 technology as a tool for editing genomes

With the objective of evaluating the potential of the CRISPR-Cas9 technology, a technique that is revolutionizing molecular biology worldwide, Embrapa and the Biotechnology Information Council (CIB) will hold, on October 26, the Workshop on Genomes: CRISPR / CAS9. Discovered in 2012, CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) technology uses the Cas9 enzyme to cut DNA at points determined by an RNA guiding chain. Using a metaphor, it would be like the tool to find and replace words from Word.

 

A lecturer at the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Caixia Gao, will give the keynote address at the event. In Beijing, Gao's laboratory was the first to use this technique for editing the genome of agricultural crops. The research conducted by Gao is focused on genetic engineering of wheat, famous for highly complex DNA. A variety of the disease resistant plant obtained by Gao using the CRISPR / Cas9 technique is under development by a company in the United States.

 

The researcher at Embrapa Soja and chair of the Genetic Engineering portfolio for Agribusiness portfolio, Alexandre Nepomuceno, explains that biology has already used techniques to edit and modify DNA since the 1980s. "However, CRISPR / Cas9 can Be considered revolutionary for allowing the manipulation of genes with high accuracy, speed and cost, "he says. Applications in agriculture can range from developing pest-resistant plants to abiotic stress tolerant varieties (such as cold and drought).

 

The CIB's executive director, Adriana Brondani, underscores the importance of closely following the discussions on this innovation. "CRISPR has great potential to generate revolutionary products for agriculture; If Brazil wants to remain competitive in the global market, it should look closely at this technology. "

 

The CIB's executive director, Adriana Brondani, underscores the importance of closely following the discussions on this innovation. "CRISPR has great potential to generate revolutionary products for agriculture; If Brazil wants to remain competitive in the global market, it should look closely at this technology. "

 

The workshop will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., in the Biomas auditorium of Embrapa Sede, in Brasilia.

 

Source: Embrapa, October 2016