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Friday / June 21. 2024
HomeAgri GenomicsBayer and G+FLAS collaborate to develop genome-edited tomato varieties

Bayer and G+FLAS collaborate to develop genome-edited tomato varieties

The collaboration leverages G+FLAS’ genome editing technology and Bayer’s proprietary tomato germplasm.

As part of its strategic open innovation approach global life science company Bayer has advanced two initiatives with external partners to bring forward genome editing in vegetables. Bayer and South-Korean biotech company G+FLAS have entered into an agreement to collaborate on developing genome-edited tomato varieties that are nutritionally enhanced with vitamin D3. Vitamin D deficiency is a widespread issue globally, particularly in countries where winter sunlight is limited. It affects an estimated billion people worldwide and can lead to a range of health issues including rickets.

The collaboration leverages G+FLAS’ genome editing technology and Bayer’s proprietary tomato germplasm,” said JD Rossouw, Head of Vegetables Research & Development at Bayer during the World Seed Congress in Rotterdam where the industry gathers from May 27-29.

Part of the agreement is also the ambition to develop seeds for a broader variety of tomato products using genome editing. The technique allows to make changes to a plant’s genome that could also occur in nature or through conventional breeding, but in a more precise and faster way. “Modern breeding technologies, such as genome editing, can provide health benefits and resilience to a changing climate. It is an important new technology in a breeder’s toolbox, and we anticipate it being a part of our pipeline moving forward,” said JD Rossouw.

“Bayer is deeply attuned to what consumers are seeking: Foods that are not only rich in nutrients but also delightful in taste. Our commitment is to deliver on these expectations, which, in turn, provides significant benefits throughout the value chain and enhances the competitiveness of our growers,” stated Ruth Mathieson, Global Head of Strategic Marketing at Bayer Vegetable Seeds. “We are keenly aware of the widespread issue of nutritional deficiencies in diets today. Actively working to bridge this nutritional gap is a driving force behind our growth and innovation strategy.”

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