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Origin Agritech announces revolutionary gene editing breakthrough, featured in top science journal Natureqrcode

Jun. 13, 2024

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Jun. 13, 2024

Origin Agritech Ltd. (NASDAQ: SEED) (the "Company" or "Origin"), a leading Chinese agricultural technology company, on Wednesday announced the publication of a groundbreaking research article in the prestigious scientific journal Nature, titled "Maize Smart Canopy Architecture Enhances Yield at High Densities." This study is the first to successfully achieve fixed-point improvement of leaf angle in maize inbred lines using maize induction line gene editing technology.

Origin, through its subsidiary Hainan Aoyu Biotech Limited, cooperated with China Agricultural University and pioneered establishing the world's first efficient genetic transformation system for maize induction line Hi3. This innovative system enables the rapid editing of major maize inbred lines across various genetic backgrounds. By breaking the technical barrier of improving maize inbred lines through gene editing, this method allows for precise enhancements to the shape of maize inbred lines within a single year. Compared with traditional backcrossing and breeding techniques, Hi3 can save 3-4 years of time without the influence of linked genes.

China is accelerating the commercialization of gene editing traits and has approved gene editing biosafety certificates for corn, soybeans, and wheat. The commercialization of Origin's gene-editing corn is expected to begin in 1-2 years. The use of this gene editing technology has broad application space and huge commercial development value. According to Bill Deng, Origin's head of research, it is estimated that the market for the commercial breeding process of corn gene editing can reach more than 10 billion yuan (US$1.5 billion).

Dr. Gengchen Han, Chairman and CEO of Origin Agritech, stated, "Our collaboration with China Agricultural University and the publication of our research in Nature underscore Origin's commitment to advancing agricultural technology. This breakthrough can potentially revolutionize maize cultivation by significantly boosting yield through improved plant architecture."

The induction line genetic transformation system developed by Origin offers broad application prospects for the commercial development of gene-edited corn. This technology is poised to play a critical role in future agricultural innovations, providing a powerful tool for enhancing crop performance and sustainability.

"At present, we have obtained more than ten maize gene editing induction lines that have been improved for different traits, including reducing the angle between the upper leaves of maize ears, enhancing maize drought resistance, enhancing maize lodging resistance, extending maize growth period, and stacking multiple composite traits," continued Dr. Han. "In the future, we can quickly carry out targeted improvement work for related target traits. More notably, our genetically modified hybrid will enter production trials this year."

"We are excited about the potential applications of this technology in commercial agriculture. By leveraging our genetic transformation system, we can accelerate the development of high-yield maize varieties, contributing to global food security and advancing sustainable farming practices," concluded Dr. Han.


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