New plant breeding techniques
Over the past few years, advanced methods for targeted editing of the genome of living organisms have been developed, of which the most popular, because of numerous advantages, became the CRISPR/Cas9 technology.
In contrast to radiation and chemical mutagens used in classical breeding, in which the occurrence of changes in the genome is on a random and unpredictable basis, when using the CRISPR/Cas9 technology, the investigator has the option to edit the code of a particular region of DNA in the genome. In this case, areas where mutations with unwanted character have occurred can be edited and restored or mutations with certain desirable character can be purposely created. Because of the ability to edit the genome without the need to transfer foreign to the organism genetic material, these methods were tentatively called “New plant breeding techniques”. It should be noted that CRISPR/Cas9 could also be used to integrate foreign DNA from the same or another species of organism in a specific region of the genome, in this case producing a GMO.
Currently in the EU, the US and the rest of the world there is still no clear legal basis for the use of the CRISPR/Cas9 technology. It is in a process of clarification whether and/or in what cases the technology falls under the regulations of genetically modified organisms.