Main Article Content
A new set of breeding techniques, referred to as New Breeding Techniques developed in the last two decades have potential for enhancing improved productivity in crop and animal breeding globally. These include site directed nucleases based genomic editing procedures-CRISPR and Cas associated proteins, Zinc Finger Nucleases, Meganucleases/Homing Endonucleases and Transcription- Activator Like-Effector Nucleases for genome editing and other technologies including- Oligonucleotide-Directed Mutagenesis, Cisgenesis and intragenesis, RNA-Dependent DNA methylation; Transgrafting, Agroinfiltration, Reverse breeding. There are ongoing global debates on whether the processes of and products emerging from these technologies should be regulated as genetically modified organisms or approved as conventional products. Decisions on whether to regulate as GMOs are based both on understanding of the molecular basis of their development and if the GMO intermediate step was used. For example- cisgenesis, can be developed using Agrobacterium tumefaciens methods of transformation, a process used by GMO but if the selection is properly conducted the intermediate GMO elements will be eliminated and the final product will be identical to the conventionally developed crops. Others like Site Directed Nuclease 3 are regulated as GMOs in countries such as United State of America, Canada, European Union, Argentina, Australia. Progress in genome editing research, testing of genome edited bacterial blight resistant rice, development of Guidelines for regulating new breeding techniques or genome editing in Africa is also covered with special reference to South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria. Science- and evidence-based approach to regulation of new breeding techniques among regulators and policy makers should be strongly supported.
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