The J.R. Simplot Company announced it has entered an alliance with Plant Sciences, a Watsonville, CA-based plant breeding company, to drive new breeding techniques for strawberries, including gene editing.
Simplot and PSI have been collaborating since 2011 on multiple new breeding technologies, and expect to launch the first commercially available, gene-edited strawberry in the coming years.
Each year, approximately 35% of fresh strawberries are discarded by consumers because of waste from poor storage or short shelf life. Using new breeding techniques like CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing tools in strawberry development is anticipated to improve shelf life and significantly reduce such waste.
Gene editing technologies
Under the Simplot-PSI strategic alliance, Simplot will use gene-editing technologies to advance strawberry characteristics. PSI will provide its proprietary strawberry germplasm, plant growing expertise, and lead the commercialization of successful varieties.
“At Simplot, we’re excited to participate in a project that may help growers achieve higher yields on less land, resulting in fewer pesticides and reduced water and labor needs, all while extending the quality of a consumer’s favorite foods,” said Susan Collinge PhD, Vice President of Simplot Plant Sciences.
“We are highly motivated to build on our learnings with the J.R. Simplot Company and fully expect to make an impact on the strawberry industry by offering better varieties with qualities that both growers and consumers will celebrate,” said Steve Nelson, President and CEO of PSI.
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