Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 545707
Title Development of wheat with hypoimmunogenic gluten obstructed by the gene editing policy in europe
Author(s) Jouanin, Aurélie; Boyd, Lesley; Visser, Richard G.F.; Smulders, Marinus J.M.
Source Frontiers in Plant Science 871 (2018). - ISSN 1664-462X
Department(s) Plant Breeding
Plant Breeding
PBR Biodiversity and genetic variation
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2018
Keyword(s) Coeliac disease - Genetic modification - GM regulation - Innovation principle - Mutation breeding - New plant breeding technique - Public acceptance - Risk assessment

Coeliac Disease (CD) is an auto-immune reaction to gluten in 1–2% of the human population. A gluten-free (GF) diet, excluding wheat, barley, and rye, is the only remedy. This diet is difficult to adhere to, partly because wheat gluten is added to many processed products for their viscoelastic properties. In addition, GF products are less healthy and expensive. Wheat products containing only hypoimmunogenic gluten proteins would be a desirable option. Various gluten peptides that trigger CD have been characterized. A single wheat variety contains around hundred gluten genes, producing proteins with varying numbers of epitopes. Gene editing using CRISPR/Cas9 can precisely remove or modify the DNA sequences coding for immunogenic peptides. Wheat with hypoimmunogenic gluten thus exemplifies the potential of gene editing for improving crops for human consumption where conventional breeding cannot succeed. We describe here, in relation to breeding hypoimmunogenic wheat varieties, the inconsistencies of applying GM regulation in Europe for gene-edited plants while mutation breeding-derived plants are exempted. We explain that healthy products derived from this new technology may become available in the United States, Canada, Argentina and other countries but not in Europe, because of strict regulation of unintended GM risk at the expense of reduction the existing immunogenicity risks of patients. We argue that regulation of gene-edited plants should be based on scientific evidence. Therefore, we strongly recommend implementing the innovation principle. Responsible Research and Innovation, involving stakeholders including CD patient societies in the development of gene-editing products, will enable progress toward healthy products and encourage public acceptance.

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