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8:00 am Breakfast & Registration

8:30 am Chairman’s Opening Remarks

Enhance Delivery & Efficiency: Technological Innovations in CRISPR & NBT Systems


This session explores progression in terms of delivery, target specificity and the Cas system itself. We also look to study progression in plant genetic transformation systems and discover how advanced gene delivery methods will ultimately make gene editing more efficient for its application for both crops and livestock.

8:40 am CRISPR-Cas Systems for Plant Genome Editing & Transcriptional Regulation

  • Yiping Qi Assistant Professor, University of Maryland College Park


• Rapid evolving CRISPR Cas technologies: from Cas9 to Cas12
• Improvements in the technical limitations of CRISPR-Cas systems
• Targeting specificity of CRISPR-Cas systems
• Exploring the potential of multiplex genome editing in accelerating efficient breeding

9:10 am Exploring Base Editing to Enhance Crop Diversity and Benefit Consumers

  • Tom Adams Chief Executive Officer, Pairwise Plants


• How Pairwise Plants is committed to developing healthy, convenient, sustainable and affordable food
• How we use gene editing technology to leverage native plant diversity
• A discussion on the development of base editing technology in crop systems and application in generating novel alleles of important genes

9:40 am Discovering Advanced Gene Delivery Methods: Nano-Mediated Delivery


• Background on nanoparticle-mediated delivery to plants and their limitations
• Explanation of how nano-tube delivery works and main advantages of using carbon nanotubes to deliver genes
• Exploring the transient expression results and how we can use this to further elucidate the genes role in the cell
• Ongoing and future applications of stable and heritable plant transformations by delivering CRISPR cargoes with nanotubes

10:10 am Morning Refreshments & Speed Networking

Trait Discovery for Securing a Sustainable Agricultural Future


This session looks to identify trait discovery opportunities to improve both animal health and welfare and production of livestock using various novel breeding techniques.

11:10 am Exploring FFAR’s Advanced Animal Systems Challenge Areas

  • Tim Kurt Scientific Program Director, Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research


• Identifying opportunities for emerging biotechnologies to improve animal health and welfare, reduce reliance on antibiotics and improve food security
• Rapid, early phenotyping in animals at scale

11:40 am Improved sustainability and efficiency in food animals


• Early development involved in progression with advanced multiplex traits
• Studies of production rates to demonstrate the quality of the product
• How to effectively translate these traits into other high value finfish such as salmon

12:10 pm Gene Editing to End Castration of Pigs


• Introducing the castration free trait for meat quality, barn management and animal welfare
• Precision breeding methods that result in male piglets that remain in a prepubertal state
• Resulting knock out effects on phenotypes and how this could be used to meet animal well-being challenges in other food animals

12:40 pm Lunch & Networking

Translating Functional Genomic Discoveries to Product Applications


This looks at how we can apply CRISPR to discover a variety of new traits, including stress resistant crops, disease resistance and pest control.

1:40 pm Using CRISPR Cas 9 for Disease Resistance

  • Leena Tripathi Principal Scientist and Deputy Director, East Africa Hub at International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)


• How to use CRISPR genome editing methods to inactivate the viral DNA sequences integrated in the genome of a banana
• Explaining the long term goal of using these plants to breed virus-free plants for farmers

2:10 pm Adapting to Novel Breeding Strategies to Develop Crops Safe for Consumption and that Produce in Surplus

  • Sachin Rustgi Assistant Professor of Molecular Breeding, Clemson University


• Development of dietary therapies for the food-borne disorders caused by cereals and legumes
• Breeding in novel traits to enhance crop productivity
• Development of nucleic acid based pesticides for major insect and fungal pests

2:40 pm Development of Cibus’ Trait Machine™ to Efficiently Apply Gene Editing

  • Greg Gocal Executive Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer, Cibus


• An increasing number of traits are being discovered and developed using gene editing
• The concept of a trait machine which is defined as the optimization of several procedures used in sequence to efficiently develop complex traits in multiple elite lines is essential to optimize the use of the editing technologies to accelerate plant breeding
• Cibus has developed all components of a trait machine for canola and is applying it to develop complex and stacked traits into diverse elite canola lines

3:10 pm Afternoon Refreshments & Networking

Developing & Optimizing Traits in Action


Having explored trait discovery and the countless opportunities available, this session looks to prove how we can use new breeding technologies to solve real world challenges.

3:40 pm A novel genome editing technology: Gene Editing induced Gene Silencing (GEiGSTM)

  • Eyal Maori Co-Founder & Chief Scientific Officer, Tropic Biosciences


  • The current barriers in using RNAi or gene editing for crop protection and improvement
  • How the GEiGSTM platform combines the benefits of RNAi & gene editing, while overcoming their challenges
  • The GEiGSTM platform enables numerous applications for crop protection and improvement in diverse plants

4:10 pm Using NBTs and CRISPR in the Development of High Value Fruit Crops

  • Revel Drummond Scientist, Plant & Food Research, Plant Development Team, New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Ltd


• Traditional plant breeding at Plant & Food Research has resulted in a portfolio of world-leading kiwifruit, apple and pear crops now grown worldwide
• Our ongoing success will depend on integrating NBTs so we continue to provide the greatest benefit to breeding programs, producers, and consumers
• We have successfully explored how CRISPR can revolutionize crop breeding by developing perennial plants with no juvenility; delivering on our goal of better cultivars faster

4:40 pm Merging Breeding and Gene Editing: Rapid Domestication of Pennycress, a Novel Oilseed Cover Crop

  • Tim Ulmasov Chief Technology Officer, CoverCress, Inc


• Cover crops help to save the environment, but farmers growing them are generally losing money
• CRISPR genome editing can greatly accelerate crop domestication, help to quickly develop key traits for high quality oil and meal
• Mining large EMS mutant populations for improved agronomic and compositional traits
• Breeding and editing product development and commercialization considerations

5:10 pm Chairman’s Closing Remarks

5:20 pm End of Day One