The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Ceoliac friendly bread and gene editing wheat...

Bread1965's picture

Ceoliac friendly bread and gene editing wheat...

Hi All.. I'm sure that some on the board will not like the idea whatsoever. But the era of gene editing has arrived with the development of Crispr/Cas9 gene editing.

It's a topic I've spent a fair amount of time researching for my professional life. It is a relatively new, highly accurate, relatively easy to use and inexpensive "technology" that allows scientists to edit genes to, in simple terms, add or remove traits in humans, animals or plants through gene editing. By way of example, just last month the University of Oregon announced a successful experiment using crisper/cas9 to edit an embryo cell to "edit out" a particular hereditary genetic heart defect (hypothrophic cardiomyopathy) so that it wouldn't get passed from parent to child. Understandably people are, will, and should be concerned about editing genes in humans, animals and plants. But the pandora's box is open and here we are. And frankly, imho while I see potential for mis-use and danger, I also see potential for transformative health improvement for millions. But of course nothings going to happen next week - this will take time.  For anyone interested, the person that discovered the technology wrote  a book called A Crack In Creation - it's a worthwhile read. 

But back to bread.. a friend of mine just sent me this article knowing my interest in Crispr, but not my interest in bread. He has ceoliac disease. I thought I'd share it for those of you on the board that also have the disease.  Crispr/Cas9 was used towards editing wheat genes to eliminate the type of gluten proteins that are the source of ceoliac disease symptoms/issues.

Again, I can't imagine this would be available at a flour mill near you anytime soon. But it seems near inevitable to me that it will be in the future..


Justanoldguy's picture

That's an interesting read. Questions/issues:

How likely is inadvertent hybridization with current non-modified strains?

Will the number of persons who'll need products from this modified wheat provide a market capable of supporting its cultivation and sale at reasonable prices? The article mentions that it is appropriate for only a few forms of bread and will that further restrict the market for this wheat?

What are the projected growing seasons and areas where it could be produced?

Bread1965's picture

We'll have to wait and see..

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

to break down the offending proteins?  

dabrownman's picture

humans to get rid of Ceoliac disease instead ? We need the gluten to make good bread.  Less disease causing genes is the way to go.