Leading the Way in Life Science Technologies

GEN Exclusives

More »

GEN News Highlights

More »
Mar 4, 2010

Cellectis Establishes Plant Science Subsidiary Focused on Meganuclease-Based Genome Engineering

  • Genome engineering company Cellectis established a new plant sciences subsidiary in Minneapolis. The segment will leverage the firm’s meganuclease technology for applications in agricultural biology including the development of new traits.

    Cellectis plant science laboratories are located close to the University of Minnesota and its greenhouse facilities. Daniel Voytas, Ph.D., director of the University of Minnesota Center for Genome Engineering, will act as CSO. Cellectis expects to have six employees in the plant science business by year-end.

    “The aim of Cellectis plant sciences is to support Cellectis’ existing collaborators and licensees in the implementation of our meganuclease technology in plants, to provide a comprehensive suite of services and expertise to a broader set of potential partners, and to develop our own traits in crops, focusing on high-value niche markets that are open to new entrants with differentiating technology,” comments André Choulika, Ph.D., CEO.

    In January Cellectis teamed up with the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) (www.international.irna.fr) for a five-year collaboration spanning a number of fields including cell biology and plant and animal biotechnology. The organizations are investigating applications of Cellectis’ technologies including reverse genetics, homologous recombination, and gene targeting in various species except humans.

    Meganucleases are sequence-specific endonucleases with long recognition sites (> 12 base pairs). Cellectis claims their high degree of specificity makes them ideal tools for genome engineering because they bind to and cut at a single site in a given genome. Cellectis has developed meganuclease recombination systems that are reportedly highly effective for performing excisions, modifications, or gene replacements in almost all living organisms.


Related content

Be sure to take the GEN Poll

Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

More »