This article was first published by The Times of Israel and is re-posted with permission.
Israeli startup CanBreed said it has used gene editing technology to alter a gene in the cannabis plant to make the plant resistant to powdery mildew, a fungus that can be deadly for the plant.
CanBreed said that to the best of its knowledge, this is the first time a commercial company has managed to perform genome editing on a cannabis plant. The editing was done using CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology.
It is very hard” to use the CRISPR technology on the cannabis plant, said Ido Margalit, CanBreed’s CEO, in a phone interview. Through the use of the technology, the startup’s R&D team, composed of geneticists, molecular biologists and agronomists, edited a gene that expresses a protein responsible for creating sensitivity to powdery mildew infection, he said.
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