EXZACT™ Precision Technology delivers the means to more efficiently stack genetic traits, thereby simplifying and accelerating the breeding process. Because EXZACT™ Precision Technology allows hypothesis testing about gene function, it is also a powerful tool for novel gene discovery, which leads to the development of complex traits such as drought tolerance, nitrogen efficiency, and yield enhancement. The technology can be utilized in any plant species that is amenable to DNA delivery, including commodity crops, vegetables, ornamentals, trees, and even biomass crops.
Improving on Traditional Plant Breeding Techniques
Traditional approaches to improving agricultural productivity have relied on either genetic breeding and selection (for example, development of hybrids) or the introduction of novel genes/traits, such as insect resistance, through crop transformation. History has shown that these approaches to improving agricultural crops are time consuming, inefficient, unpredictable and introduce changes at random sequences, or locations, in the plant genome. In contrast, using EXZACT™, genome modifications such as deletions, insertions, edits, or even gene excision can be efficiently targeted to precise DNA sequences in a plant genome. Plants that have these changes can be easily and rapidly identified using modern molecular biology techniques such as DNA analysis, and recovered. The sheer number of plants that must be screened in any program is reduced by orders of magnitude, and the probability of recovering the desired genetic modification is significantly improved.
EXZACT™: Accelerating Agricultural Biotechnology
One example of EXZACT™ in action is illustrated by the ongoing development of corn varieties carrying multiple transgenes for both insect resistance and herbicide tolerance. Dow AgroSciences and Monsanto Company are currently collaborating using traditional transgenic and breeding technologies to create SmartStax™, the industry's most advanced, all-in-one corn trait platform. To develop this trait package, corn breeders had to carry out extensive and complex genetic crosses between varieties carrying different genes at different locations in the genome. In contrast, using EXZACT™, it is now possible and relatively simple to insert all of the different components within a multi-gene trait into a single location in a single variety, thereby eliminating the need for the complex breeding required to create and maintain the gene combination. With its demonstrated precision, EXZACT™ is a preferred technology for creating stacked plant traits that deliver performance to growers.
Because the technology is flexible, precise, highly specific, and relatively simple— and because it can delete or edit existing plant genes — EXZACT™ creates the potential to define a regulatory path that is different from the current route for biotech products. The robust functionality of EXZACT™ Precision Technology also provides greater opportunity to create novel products and move them more quickly and confidently through development.
Learn how a relatively simple idea becomes a powerful agricultural innovation.