Resurrect Bio changes the code to unlock plant defences
Plants have a sophisticated immune system that has co-evolved as a defence against pathogens, but it may be lying inactive in many crop varieties. Now Resurrect Bio, a spinout from The Sainsbury Laboratory (TSL) in Norwich, has found a way to re-engineer the disease response mechanism in plants to restore resilience.
Speaking at Agri-TechE’s REAP conference, Dr Cian Duggan, co-founder of Resurrect Bio, says: “Our research suggests there could be a multitude of resistance genes sitting in crop genomes that are suppressed by pathogens, and that we could potentially resurrect or otherwise improve. This intriguing possibility drove us to establish a spinout company.
“Essentially, we have resurrected resistance genes by bioengineering the helper receptor.
“And this doesn’t just apply to a specific gene; it can be implemented with a host of other resistance genes. This is a huge breakthrough and has potential to be a game-changer in plant protection.”
The initial targets are Soybean Cyst Nematode and Asian Soybean Rust which collectively cost the US more than $2Bn annually, Resurrect Bio is exploring how to re-engineer the disease response.
Find out more about Resurrect Bio at resurrect.bio.
Wednesday 8th November, 9:30 am – 6:30 pm
Rowley Mile Conference Centre, Newmarket
Surviving and thriving under increasingly extreme and unpredictable challenges is the theme of the 2023 REAP conference. To build a productive, profitable and sustainable agri-food industry, we must move away from the comfort zone and become open to the new opportunities that exist when we ‘stretch’. Be a part of that future – bring yourself and your ideas to REAP.