Japanese scientists succeed in first soybean genome-editing

TOKYO, Oct. 16 — A group of Japanese scientists using advanced genome-editing technologies has succeeded in editing genes that contribute to the size of soybeans.

The team of agricultural scientists, from Hokkaido University, Yokohama City University and the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, edited the genome from grain.

Genome refers to the entire DNA sequence of an organism, and genome editing is to make specific changes to the DNA of an organism.

The research team focused on the crop size.

“But the results in the lab that show promise could lead to reduced molecules of soy allergens,” said Tetsuya Yamada from Hokkaido University’s graduate research faculty of agriculture.

Yet, while genome-editing technologies have raised a regulatory issue by creating indistinct boundaries in genetically modified organisms (GMOs), Japan has not decided whether to label genome-edited crops as GMO.

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