Hudson River Biotechnology (HRB), based in Wageningen, The Netherlands, has successfully regenerated strawberry plants from gene-edited single cells using its proprietary CRISPR workflow (TiGER).

The global berry sector faces challenging times and has shifted from a focus on quantity to a focus on producing better quality with fewer resources and less environmental impact. Traditionally, breeding to improve strawberry fruit quality and disease resistance has been a lengthy process of several years due to the fruit’s genetic complexity. Strawberries have eight sets of chromosomes – as compared to the two sets that humans have – significantly complicating conventional breeding efforts toward realizing the right combination of traits. Gene editing technology offers a promising solution for quickly introducing desired genetic traits into strawberries. The industry previously lacked an effective gene editing workflow that does not introduce foreign DNA or lead to plants with inconsistently edited cells (chimeras)– until now.

In response to this global challenge, HRB’s breakthrough offers a timely solution. The TiGER workflow, which generates new plant varieties derived from a single, gene-edited cell, includes automated screening for thousands of regeneration conditions to identify the right combination for each crop/variety, and it is proven to be both a scalable and effective method for fast-tracking the market introduction of valuable traits for different crops. The dedication and expertise of HRB’s R&D team have been key in reaching this breakthrough that marks a world-first for strawberry, a notoriously recalcitrant crop, and finally unlocks the potential for rapidly improving fruit flavor, nutritional value, and sustainability. This not only adds a significant milestone to HRB’s extensive crop portfolio, which includes over 12 species, but also aligns with a broader vision in which all crops can benefit from CRISPR technology.

“Our success with strawberries is a significant advancement in agricultural biotechnology, paving the way for improved breeding and cultivation practices for berry crops. Moving forward, HRB is keen to collaborate with industry partners to translate these scientific breakthroughs into practical solutions for farmers and consumers alike”, says Ferdinand Los, co-founder and CEO of HRB.

For more information:
Hudson River Biotechnology
hudsonriverbiotechnology.com