Japan Launches World’s First Genome-Edited Tomato

The first direct consumption genome-edited tomato was launched in Japan by Sanatech Seed, a start-up company from University of Tsukuba. The Japanese ministries in-charge have announced their determination that the genome-edited tomato will not be regulated as a genetically modified product.

Sicilian Rouge High GABA tomato was developed using CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology. The tomato contains high levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), an amino acid believed to aid relaxation and help lower blood pressure. It contains four to five times more GABA than a regular tomato.

The Sicilian Rouge variety and the GABA trait were chosen for their high level of consumer acceptance.

In a statement on the notification of genome-edited high-GABA tomato in Japan, the International Seed Federation (ISF) said it welcomes the release and that it is an important step in the implementation of the Japanese policy on genome editing, providing opportunities for the seed sector to continue its efforts on plant breeding innovation to contribute to sustainable food systems.

The ISF statement is available here.

Source: Crop Biotech Update

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