Tropic Biosciences announces their research agreement with BASF to utilize Tropic’s ground-breaking GEiGS™ (Gene Editing induced Gene Silencing) technology to develop traits to address growers’ most critical challenges in protecting crops.
The collaboration applies the Tropic Bioscience GEiGS™ platform within BASF’s strategic crop varieties and utilizes BASF’s expertise in the development of agricultural traits. “Our R&D teams must continue to innovate to address the most pressing challenges in agriculture, so we welcome this new tool to accelerate the delivery of sustainable trait solutions to farmers,” said Brian Vande Berg, Vice President of Trait Research in BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division. Under the agreement, Tropic Biosciences will generate GEiGS™ candidates that have the possibility to enter the BASF discovery pipeline for development of disease and pest control traits.
Jack Peart, Chief Commercial Officer of Tropic Biosciences, commented: “We are excited to make the GEiGS™ platform available for use by other companies and we are delighted to see it being applied not only in tropical crops but now in row crops through our collaboration with BASF.” He went on to say that “GEiGS™ is a powerful platform that allows us to address some of the most critical disease and pest pressures faced by growers today.”
GEiGS™ technology utilizes established genome editing tools to make precise and specific changes to only a few nucleotides within non-coding genomic locations of a host organism. These changes redirect RNA interference (RNAi, also Gene Silencing) activity of non-coding genes towards target genes, including those belonging to pathogens and pests. The approach does not depend on the introduction of foreign genes into the host genome.
Tropic Biosciences developed GEiGS™ to support its own product development, for example to produce lines of banana that are resistant to Panama disease, a devastating fungal disease that is threatening production globally. “Our aim is to help farmers increase productivity and improve sustainable environmental practices for tropical crops by applying cutting-edge gene editing technologies,” said Gilad Gershon, CEO of Tropic Biosciences. “GEiGS™ is attractive for us as it radically expands our ability to develop and commercialize non-transgenic disease resistance traits.”