With $37M Investment and New Corporate Partner, San Diego’s Cibus to Develop Enhanced Crop Strains for Europe
News Oct 12, 2009
Under the joint development partnership, Cibus will use its proprietary technology (which offers an alternative approach to inserting foreign genes to create genetically modified crops) to develop new plant traits in five unidentified crops for the European market. As part of the related agreement, Makhteshim-Agan, or MAI, will make its investments based on Cibus’s progress—and gradually acquire a 50.1 percent stake.
Cibus describes its technology, known as Rapid Trait Development System, or RTDS, as a “smart-breeding technology” that introduces desirable genetic traits in a plant by using directed mutagenesis, a process that takes advantage of mechanisms of gene repair. The company says that every time a cell copies its DNA, it makes “scrivener” errors, akin to typographical errors in the genetic code. Such variations are common, and according to Cibus, are part of natural variation. Cibus says its technology uses the DNA repair machinery that corrects such typos, and directs it instead to make changes in a specific way that produces the desired trait in the targeted gene.
Cibus hopes its approach will be acceptable to environmental groups and activists opposed to genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. The European market, in particular, has resisted introduction of genetically modified crops.
The Ancient Behaviour of Sleep, Conserved Throughout EvolutionNews
The finding that jellyfish sleep implies that sleep is an ancient behavior, largely untouched by millennia of evolution.READ MORE
Gene Immunotherapy Approach Prevents and Reverses Symptoms of Multiple SclerosisNews
Researchers used a viral vector to deliver a gene encoding a myelin sheath protein to the liver, thereby inducing robust and durable immune tolerance in mice by preventing T cells from attacking the myelin sheath.READ MORE
Genetic Code of Neuronal Communication Determines Cell TypeNews
The findings should help scientists sort out the bewildering array of neurons that are intertwined in the brain.READ MORE