ABBIE, the groundbreaking Integrase-dcas9 fusion protein, is set to transform the field of agriculture by enabling the development of heat-resistant rice and wheat plants, as well as crops with enhanced disease resistance and improved yield. This cutting-edge technology represents a significant advancement over current CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing methods.

The global genetic engineering in agriculture market is growing, with a projected CAGR of 6.5% during the period from 2023 to 2030. By the end of this period, the market is expected to achieve a valuation of approximately US$1.5 billion (Fairfield Market Research, Oct. 2023).  Key players in the space include Eurofins, Illumina and Agilent to name a few.

In 2020, revised regulatory policies and increased time to response by USDA has led to an expedited pathway for commercialization of some gene modified crops.  The revision outlined in 2020 is termed SECURE (Sustainable, Ecological, Consistent, Uniform, Responsible, Efficient).  This revision alleviates regulatory time and burden cost and is intended to drive innovation and support advances in agricultural technology.  Furthermore, a recent plant and genome conference held in San Diego, California on January 16 highlighted breakthrough advances on gene edited seeds offering resistance to troublesome parasitic plants in Africa.  The importance of a need for low and middle-income countries having access to gene editing technology tailored to the needs of local farmers rather than relying on seeds developed in foreign countries were expressed.

Genome editing has emerged as a powerful tool in agriculture, allowing scientists to precisely modify the genetic makeup of crops to enhance desirable while minimizing undesirable traits. However, traditional CRISPR/Cas9 systems have limitations, including off-target effects and the potential for unintended genetic modifications. ABBIE addresses these challenges by leveraging the unique properties of Integrase-dCas9 fusion protein.

One of the key advantages of ABBIE is its design to provide enhanced precision. By fusing the Integrase enzyme with the cas9 protein, ABBIE allows for more accurate targeting of specific genomic sites, minimizing off-target effects. A high level of precision is crucial when introducing genetic modifications to crops, as it reduces the risk of unintended consequences and ensures the stability of the plant’s genome.

Furthermore, ABBIE offers improved efficiency in genome editing. The Integrase-dCas9 fusion protein exhibits a higher editing efficiency compared to traditional CRISPR/Cas9 systems. This increased efficiency translates into faster and more reliable genetic modifications, allowing researchers to develop heat-resistant rice and wheat plants, as well as crops with enhanced disease resistance and improved yield, in a more time-efficient manner.

The potential applications of ABBIE in agriculture are vast. With the ability to introduce genetic modifications that confer heat resistance, crops can thrive in regions with extreme temperatures, mitigating the impact of climate change on food production. Additionally, ABBIE is designed to enable the development of crops with enhanced disease resistance, reducing the reliance on pesticides and promoting sustainable farming practices. By improving crop yield, ABBIE has the potential to address global food security challenges and support the growing population’s nutritional needs.

“We are excited about the potential of ABBIE to revolutionize agriculture,” said Dr. David Aguilar, COO of SOHM, Inc. “The precision and efficiency offered by the Integrase-dCas9 fusion protein opens new possibilities for crop improvement, allowing us to develop resilient and high-yielding varieties that can withstand the challenges of a changing climate.”

As ABBIE paves the way for a new era of genome editing in agriculture, SOHM remains committed to advancing scientific innovation and contributing to sustainable and resilient food systems.

Dr. David Aguilar,
SOHM, Inc.

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