From Bio Journal - February 2021

Move toward commercialization of genome-edited fish by Kyoto University venture company

The Regional Fish company, a venture company based in Kyoto, is moving to commercialize genome-edited fish. The company was founded by Assistant Professor Kinoshita Masato of Kyoto University and Professor Kato Keitaro of Kinki University, who have both developed fish using genome editing technology. The fish being developed is a fast-growing red sea bream (Chrysophrys major) whose myostatin gene, which suppresses fish growth, has been knocked out using genome editing. In the US, for example, a meaty pig has been developed, and in Japan the development of fish is underway. Kinoshita has already developed a fleshy tiger puffer using the same technology. In the meantime, Kato has, among others, developed aquafarming techniques for the satsukimasu salmon (Oncorhynchus masou ishikawae), a fish that does not adapt well to aquafarming.

On April 10, 2019, the Regional Fish company was founded on the campus of Kyoto University with the two professors as the central members. Kinoshita is a director and chief technology officer, Kato is the science and technology consultant. Last year the company completed a capital procurement of 432 million yen through third-party allotment and is now aiming to market various types of fish, as well as the red sea bream, using genome editing technology. Capital has been provided by Ube Industries, Ltd., Mitsubishi UFJ Capital, a venture investment fund, and others. Continuing on from the genome-edited tomato (See BJ January 2021) developed by Tsukuba Universityfs Sanatech Seed, founded almost simultaneously with Regional Fish, the moves toward the marketing of genome-edited fish are now about to get underway.

Public comments solicited for the approval of the GM Phalaenopsis orchid

Having completed the environmental impact assessment based on the Cartagena law of the GM Phalaenopsis orchid (a violet-blue Phalenopsis) developed by Tsukuba University and due to be marketed by Ishihara Sangyo Kaisha, Ltd., the Ministry of the Environment and MAFF called for public comments for the GM flower on 24 December 2020. This Phalaenopsis orchid has had inserted into it a gene from Commelina communis, commonly known as the Asiatic dayflower, to alter the color from a red-blue to a violet-blue hue. As this is a flower, it was not necessary to carry out the safety assessment as food and thus can be sold on the market if approved.

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(English Index)