b'Protect Advanced Breeding Techniques undesirable traits that can show up when creating new varieties. Plant breeders in Canada are waiting to hear the outcome of newBreeders weed out deleterious alleles and add in favourable guidance for Novel Food Regulations focused on plant breeding. alleles and then start making new crosseswhich is much Whatever decision is made regarding breeding techniqueseasier in a diploid system.could make or break the future of plant breeding in Canada.CRISPR/Cas9 and other gene editing technologies could This decision could directly impact how gene editing, throughrevolutionize the breeding industry for many cropsif given technologies such as CRISPR/Cas9, is regulated.the latitude to be used. The precision associated with theCas9 (based gene editing) is a great example of somethingtechnique results in better products, faster production and the thats happened naturally for billions of years and now wereability to cater breeding to the needs of todays farmer and applying a process to our benefit, says Baute. Its important toconsumer.communicate the benefit. This technique will be more precise,We need to be champions and advocates across the and well know exactly what were breeding for, compared tobiological, the digital and the agronomic space to amplify the older breeding techniques. accurate messages, Fraley says. Because its just one per cent of For potato growers, the fight for this science hits close tothe population in agriculture reaching out to the 99 per cent.home. Diploid potatoes use gene editing and are poised toIts never been more critical than today to advocate for science improve yields and pest resistance faster. literacy. While social media, television and other platforms Todays potatoes are most often tetraploid, which means theyrepresent opportunity to talk about science, it also dispels a have four copies of every gene, explained Paul Bethke, U.S.tremendous amount of misinformation. Department of Agriculture plant physiologist in a virtual panel at the 2021 Potato Expo. Diploid potatoes have two copies. It doesnt seem like much of a difference, but actually it makes things so much simpler when youre doing breeding. For more stories on science literacy visitThe high-level reason diploid breeding is beneficial is becausespudsmart.com/category/science-literacy/it could speed up the process and creates fewer crosses with 24SPUDSMART.COM Summer 2021'