*All times shown in PST

7:00 am Registration, Coffee & Networking

Investigating Novel CRISPR Tools with the Potential to Improve Efficiency & Specificity of Gene Editing in Plants

7:50 am Chair’s Opening Remarks

  • Aaron Hummel Head of Genome Editing Technologies , Pairwise

8:00 am Precision Editing Tools that Will Bring New Fruits and Vegetables to Your Plate

  • Aaron Hummel Head of Genome Editing Technologies , Pairwise


  • Why precision editing tools can accelerate trait discovery and deployment
  • Building a platform for rapid development of new editing tools
  • Performance characteristics of base editors  and other tools

8:40 am Efficient Homology-Directed Repair (HDR) for Crop Improvement

  • Yunde Zhao Professor , University of California San Diego


  • HDR allows precise modifications of genomes
  • HDR is usually not efficient and has been a challenge in crop breeding
  • Presenting key factors for improving HDR efficiency
  • Providing examples of efficient HDR in plants

9:10 am Challenges & Advantages of Multiplex Editing in Crop Genomes

  • Bing Yang Professor, University of Missouri


  • Editing several genes in the same timeframe poses unique challenges
  • Realizing the hurdles specific to plants to overcome, including polyploidy and crop
  • Highlighting current work with the promise of delivering multiple specific edits at

9:40 am Speed Networking & Morning Break

10:40 am Organelle CRISPR Technology Opens New Opportunities in Agriculture


  • New Technology that enables gene editing of both mitochondrial and chloroplast
  • Prospective opportunity in creating superb male-sterility lines for hybrid seed
    production in wheat and other crop plants
  • Prospective opportunity in crop protection by expressing pest control genes
  • Prospective opportunity in breeding by introducing new variations of organelle

Improving & Implementing Gene Discovery Tools for Better Target Validation & Identification

11:10 am A Unique Approach to Stacking Traits in Canola Using Cibus’ Trait Machine™

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


  • Canola, called rapeseed in Europe, is the world’s second largest source of protein meal, third largest source of vegetable oil and is one of the most valuable crops globally, with approximately 46 million acres grown in North America and Europe alone.
  • Cibus, a pioneer of precision gene editing for agriculture, has reached significant milestones in developing three new traits for canola. By editing diverse elite parental lines, the three new canola traits showcase Cibus’ unique and patented approach to addressing challenges that reduce yield while simultaneously increasing efficiency for farmers. The new traits precisely edit the canola genome to:
    • Reduce seed loss from pod shatter, the tendency of canola seed pods to open pre-harvest that can reduce yields by as much as 40 percent
    • Provide disease resistance to Sclerotinia, or white mold, a pathogen that can reduce yields by as much as 50 percent, and can improve sustainability by reducing or eliminating a fungicide treatment
    • Introduce a novel weed control system as a means of increasing canola yields by controlling weeds, particularly herbicide resistant weeds, that compete for nutrients and sunlight

11:40 am Lunch & Networking

12:35 pm

Navigating the Unsettled Regulatory Landscape for CRISPR-Edited Crops

12:40 pm Harnessing Regulatory Expertise from the First Gene Edited Food Product on the Market


  • Exploring the regulatory hurdles that must be overcome from an industry
    perspective to develop an effective strategy going forward
  • Discussing when to engage regulators over products
  • Understanding what information regulators need in order to progress through to
  • Expanding reach into international markets

1:10 pm Panel Discussion: Assessing the Current International Regulatory Landscape & its Impacts on Revolutionizing Agricultural Development

  • Jason Dietz Senior Policy Analyst , Food and Drug Administration
  • Keith Matthews Of Counsel , Wiley Rein
  • Chloe Pavely Global Regulatory Director, Calyxt
  • Linda Webster Director, Plant Production Division, Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)
  • Subray Hegde Director, Biotechnology Risk Analysis Programs , United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)


The international regulatory landscape on gene edited crops is in a state of unrest. With ever-changing guidelines, and different countries and regions giving different recommendations and advice, it is difficult for any company operating the space to keep up. This panel discussion will bring together regulatory experts to discuss the most pressing topics in the space, including:

  • Current USDA guidelines concerning ‘non-GMO’ status and how this is expected to evolve
  • Discussing standpoints across the international landscape, and potential impacts on agricultural development
  • Opinions on using DNA vectors for plant transformation and their impact on GMO classification
  • The co-ordinated framework between the USDA, FDA & EPA – understanding specific priorities for 2020
  • Creating a harmonized, uniform regulatory framework to simplify processes for all players in the space

2:00 pm Afternoon Break

2:30 pm Yield10 Trait Development: Using CRISPR to Increase Seed Yield and Oil Content in Camelina


  • CRISPR was used to develop new Camelina lines with increased oil content &yield
  • Multiple Camelina genes were edited
  • Results from field tests will be discussed

Expanding the CRISPR Scope to More Challenging Agricultural Crops

3:00 pm Developing CRISPR for use in a Highly Commercial Crop: The Unique Challenges & Opportunities

  • Snigdha Poddar Graduate Researcher , University of California at Berkeley


  • Increasing the power of CRISPR tools for use in commercial crops
  • Exploring and overcoming challenges for wheat genome editing
  • Inducing de novo resistance in rice and wheat

3:30 pm Chair’s Closing Remarks

  • Aaron Hummel Head of Genome Editing Technologies , Pairwise

4:00 pm End of Day One