What is Targeted Gene Editing?
The principle of targeted gene editing using nucleases is simple: create a sequence-specific break in your gene-of-interest and allow the cell’s natural repair machinery to create a stable change into the genome. The resulting changes can help scientists better understand gene function or, as it relates to product development, precisely alter certain genes to remove harmful proteins or confer disease tolerance. Targeted gene editing enables the genes of a species to be modified in order to change certain attributes, to rectify an error, or to add a new trait of physiological or economic interest. Plant breeders have been crossbreeding plants and selecting for advantageous traits for thousands of years. The aim of targeted gene editing is to simply speed up that process by incorporating changes into elite germplasm known from wild ancestors or from other species altogether, to produce the best possible attributes much faster and in a less expensive timeframe. This approach is much more predictable, more reliable, and more effective than currently existing techniques.
There are three possible strategies to do this: