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[SANET-MG] tilling is it organic?
I do not recollect any earlier discussion on the important technology
described below. The process is a sophisticated way to identify crop
mutations using molecular methods. In the paper below EMS is used to
create mutations. That mutagen is a fairly mild alkylating chemical used
for many years in plant genetics. In many crops just using tissue
culture activates soma clonal mutation (believed to be caused by
transposon activation) that yield more mutations by far than those
created using chemicals or radiation
The tilling selection is not genetic engineering in anybodies book.In US
mutagenisis products are not listed as GM while in Canada they are.
The Canadian viewpoint has no rational basis, is just mindless
bureaucracy at work.
If chemical or radiation mutagenesis is used the mutated stocks need to
be repeatedly back crossed to avoid the mutated background,and that
takes time. If soma clonal mutations are selected they require less back
Tilling may work for important genes like QTL that effect yield, disease
resistance and stress related effects. Both chemical and soma clonal
mutations cannot build things like Bt toxins or pharm crops with human
genes but that may be a blessing!
If the Tilling process is decided to be "organic" then it would be wise
of us to support it, before the illegitimate recombination products
called transgenes pollute everything.
Published online: 05 December 2004; | doi:10.1038/nbt1043 nature biotech
A reverse genetic, nontransgenic approach to wheat crop improvement by
Ann J Slade1, Susan I Fuerstenberg2, Dayna Loeffler1, Michael N Steine1
& Daniel Facciotti2
1 Anawah Inc., 1102 Columbia Street, Suite 600, Seattle Washington
2 Anawah Inc., 215 Madson Place, Davis, California 95616, USA.
Correspondence should be addressed to Ann J Slade email@example.com
We report the use of TILLING (targeting induced local lesions in
genomes), a reverse genetic, nontransgenic method, to improve a quality
trait in a polyploid crop plant. Waxy starches, composed mostly of
amylopectin, have unique physiochemical properties. Wheat with only one
or two functional waxy genes (granule-bound starch synthase I, or GBSSI)
produces starch with intermediate levels of amylopectin. We have
identified 246 alleles of the waxy genes by TILLING each homoeolog in
1,920 allohexaploid and allotetraploid wheat individuals. These alleles
encode waxy enzymes ranging in activity from near wild type to null, and
they represent more genetic diversity than had been described in the
preceding 25 years. A line of bread wheat containing homozygous
mutations in two waxy homoeologs created through TILLING and a
preexisting deletion of the third waxy homoeolog displays a near-null
waxy phenotype. This approach to creating and identifying genetic
variation shows potential as a tool for crop improvement.
Farmers who walk the fields - molecular biologists who "walk" the genome
Founded in 2000, Anawah is a research and development company targeting
quality improvements in whole foods through the discovery and
commercialization of superior and highly valuable traits in plants and
The company merges traditional breeding methods with its TILLING®
technology, a reverse genetics approach for discovering unique
variability in plant and animal populations. TILLING® is entirely
non-GMO because it discovers inherent variation within an organism's
genome with no foreign DNA introduced.
In partnership with food companies, Anawah ultimately provides consumers
with food that is more nutritious, better-tasting and more wholesome.
The company is headquartered in Seattle, Washington with agricultural
facilities in Davis, California.
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