From Bio Journal - February 2016
New GM rice varieties in Japan
New GM rice varieties, "Excess Rubisco Production Rice" and "Suppressed Rubisco Production Rice," have been developed. Rubisco is the primary carboxylating enzyme, the enzyme that catalyzes the first reaction in the process of CO2 fixing. An application has been submitted to MEXT for Type 1 use (experiments in isolated fields) under the Cartagena laws, which stipulate that there should be no impacts on biodiversity from GM crops, etc. It is not clear who the applicant is, but is thought to be a researcher at Tohoku University (Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture). If approval is given, it will be Tohoku University's third GM rice after an iron deficiency tolerant rice and a UV-sensitive rice.
Epigenome edited potato
A potato has been developed using the new technology called epigenetics. The developer is thought to be a research team at the Faculty of Agriculture and Life Science of Hirosaki University (Aomori Prefecture), which has thus far pushed forward this kind of potato research. An application has been submitted to MEXT for Type 1 use (experiments in isolated fields) under the Cartagena Law, but whether or not epigenome editing technology or epigenomics is subject to the Cartagena Law is to be judged by screening the experimental content in each case. It looks as if there will be discussions about whether this will be the first case of epigenome editing technology to be subject to the Cartagena Law.
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