The collaboration applies the Tropic Bioscience GEiGS platform within BASF’s strategic crop varieties and utilises BASF’s expertise in the development of agricultural traits.
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.
Brian Vande Berg, vice-president of Trait Research in BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division, said that 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, “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 utilises 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.