29-30 May 2018

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Day One
Tuesday April 18, 2017

Day Two
Wednesday April 19, 2017

Registration & Breakfast

Chair’s Opening Remarks

  • Vonnie Estes Group Leader, Agricultural and Industrial Biotechnology, Caribou Biosciences

Excelling CRISPR Precision Genome Editing for Commercial Crop & Plant Development

Panel Discussion: Extracting Maximum Value from CRISPR Genome Editing Technology to Advance Future Agriculture

  • Tom Greene Senior Director, Research, Trait Discovery & Optimization , DuPont Pioneer
  • Mark Cigan Trait Development Director , Genus
  • Tom Erdmann General Manager, Acceligen – a Division of Recombinetics
  • Cassie Edgar Chief IP & Regulatory Officer, Genus


Get an exclusive insight into the latest developments within the CRISPR industry from one to
one interviews with a panel of key opinion leaders, who are paving the way in taking CRISPR
technology into the market for commercial product development within agriculture.

The panel will discuss and answer the following questions:

  • Where is CRISPR technology having the biggest impact in agriculture R&D?
  • What crops and plants are showing the most promise in terms of CRISPR complex delivery?
  • How does the CRISPR regulatory landscape in agriculture compare to other gene editing tools and other fields?
  • What is the timeline for a CRISPR engineered product entering the commercial market?
  • What is on the horizon for future CRISPR applications within agriculture?

Innovative Trait Development Tools in Plant Breeding will be Crucial for Doubling Global Agricultural Productivity by 2050


  • Rapid Trait Development System (RTDS™) employs Gene Repair OligoNucleobases (GRONs) to make defined spelling changes in genomic DNA
  • We report that RTDS can significantly improve the outcome of double strand break activity by reliably inducing precise and targeted nucleotide spelling changes closely aligned to the cut site
  • Our work demonstrates the significance of gene editing to rapidly, precisely and reliably improve crop performance to develop any trait in commercially relevant crop varieties

Speed Networking

Morning Refreshments

Keynote Session: CRISPR Genome Editing in Plants & Animals

  • Jin-Soo Kim Director & Professor, Center for Genome Engineering, Institute for Basic , Science & Department of Chemistry, Seoul National University


  • Digenome-seq enables assessment of genome-wide off-target effects of CRISPR systems
  • Delivery of preassembled Cas9/Cpf1 RNPs reduces CRISPR off-target effects
  • Cas9-coupled cytidine deaminase induces single-nucleotide substitutions in animals and plants

Advancing the Application of CRISPR/Cas9 in Functional Genomics for Trait Discovery in Plants & Crops

Improvements of CRISPR/Cas9 & Their Applications in Auxin Biology

  • Yunde Zhao Professor, Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California San Diego


  • There are several challenges in using CRISPR for gene editing in plants: 1) efficient
    production of gRNAs, 2) analysis of the mutations generated, 3) target sequence
    requirements, 4) simultaneously editing multiple target. We have developed strategies to
    overcome the aforementioned challenges
  • Harnessing the nuclease activity of ribozymes to design an artificial gene RGR (RibozymegRNA-
    Ribozyme) that produces an RNA molecule with ribozymes flanked at both ends
    of the designed gRNA. The produced gRNA efficiently guided Cas9-mediated cleavage of
    target DNA in vitro, in yeast, Arabidopsis, rice, and many other organisms
  • With the RGR design, the target sequences are no longer limited to G(N)20GG or
    A(N)20GG because the method does not require the specific base for transcription
    initiation for gRNA production as was the case for U6 and U3 promoters
  • Tandem RGR designs allow a single promoter to generate multiple gRNAs, thus allowing
    us to edit several genes in plants simultaneously and successfully use CRISPR technology
    to generate mutations in auxin genes

Networking Lunch

Improving Multiplex CRISPR Systems for Plant Epigenome Editing

  • Yiping Qi Assistant Professor, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, University of Maryland


  • A multiplex TAL effector transcriptional activation system as a reference for improving CRISPR
    activation systems
  • Improving multiplex CRISPR-Cas9 transcriptional activation by recruiting activators with RNA
    binding proteins
  • Improving multiplex CRISPR-Cas9 transcriptional repression using tandemly fused repressors
  • An effective CRISPR-Cpf1 transcriptional repression system

Genome Editing of Agricultural Crops for Disease Resistance


  • Identification of gene targets to edit for disease resistance in tomato and cassava
  • Creation of CRISPR-induced mutations for broad spectrum resistance in tomato
  • Gene editing to produce recessive resistance to cassava brown streak virus in cassava

Developing Delivery Methodologies to Enhance CRISPR/Cas9 Mediated Breeding

Putting CRISPR-Cas to Work for Precision Breeding in Plants


  • Examples of genome editing in maize
  • Advantages of CRISPR-Cas9 delivery in the form of ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes
  • DNA-free gene editing in plants

Developing Delivery Methodologies to Enhance Genome Precise Modification for Crop Improvement Via CRISPR/Cas9 System

  • Lanqin Xia Principal Investigator, Institute of Crop Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences


  • Development of a technology that facilitates gene replacement or targeted point mutations will offer a great promise for harnessing plant genes for crop improvement
  • CRISPR/Cas9-mediated in planta gene editing to achieve homology-directed DNA repair (HDR) in rice either through Agrobacterium or biolistic method, respectively
  • Targeted point mutations generated by a modified CRISPR/Cas9 system
  • Precise substitution amino acid residues in plant proteins through CRISPR/Cas9-mediated HDR and base editing by a modified CRISPR/Cas9 system will expand our ability to modify genes that confer agriculturally important traits in crops

An Agrobacterium-Mediated Maize CRISPR Platform & a Proteolistics Delivery Method

  • Kan Wang Professor & Director, Center for Plant Transformation, Plant Sciences Institute,, Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University


  • A public sector platform of Agrobacterium-delivered CRISPR/Cas9 for targeted mutagenesis in maize
  • An intracellular protein delivery methodology using either mesoporous silica nanoparticles or gold micro particles (Proteolistics) that bypasses DNA (transgene) integration into the plant genome

Afternoon Refreshments & Poster Session

Interactive CRISPR AgBio Roundtable Session

  • Bhanu Telugu Assistant Professor, President & CEO, University of Maryland, RenOVAte Biosciences Inc
  • Tammy Lee Stanoch Chief Corporate Affairs Officer , Recombinetics
  • Allan Wenck Head of Trait Validation US, Bayer CropScience


In breakout roundtables, you will have the opportunity to catch up on the latest advancements within the field and learn from your fellow colleagues in this interactive format to optimize the use of CRISPR gene editing technology in agriculture.
The topics that will be discussed are the following:

  1. Harnessing CRISPR gene editing to improve nutritional value
  2. Communicating the benefits of CRISPR technology to consumers
  3. Advancing the commercialization of CRISPR in agriculture


Close of Day One