Speaker discusses bottlenecks in plant gene editing in HudsonAlpha Research Seminar series

HudsonAlpha virtually welcomed Dan Voytas, PhD, as an invited speaker for the Research Seminar series. Dr. Voytas is a professor in the Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development at the University of Minnesota (UMN) and director of the UMN Center for Precision Plant Genomics. HudsonAlpha Faculty Investigator Kankshita Swaminathan, PhD, hosted the seminar.

During his talk entitled “Overcoming Bottlenecks in Plant Genome Editing”, Dr. Voytas discussed his experiences with gene editing. Voytas has a long history with gene editing technology. He is an inventor of TALEN gene editing technology.

Voytas shared the story of how he and his team at Calyxt produced the first gene-edited crop to be introduced into the food supply. The crop is soybean with altered fatty acid composition. He also discussed how his team is addressing other bottlenecks in plant gene editing by accelerating transformation and avoiding tissue culture. His team is using RNA viruses as vectors for delivering gene editing reagents.

To learn more about Dr. Voytas’ research, visit his lab website here.

More information on HudsonAlpha Research Seminars, including the upcoming schedule, can be found at