January 11, 2017

DARPA wants to be able scale up agricultural crop modification within one year instead of 15 years

DARPA has a project to have insects spread genes to agricultural crops in one season

Overarching Goals and Objectives
1. Select, modify, and optimize a plant virus that can deliver a genetic construct to mature target plants and ultimately express novel and desirable traits
2. Select, culture, and optimize an insect vector of the engineered virus that can transport and deliver the modified virus to target plants with high specificity
3. Transform intact mature target crop plant species tissues to express novel traits that help crops thwart expected environmental or biological threats

By the end of the 4-year Insect Allies Program:
Stably transform multiple mature crop plants in a complex, multi-species plant and insect community with enhanced trait(s) of agricultural interest

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