The Argentine agrobiotechnology company, Bioheuris, dedicated to the development of weed control systems, is advancing steadily in its R&D lines in gene editing for soybean, sorghum and alfalfa crops. And in this context, on March 4 and 5, he participated as a sponsor and speaker of the 8TH Pant Genomics & Gene Editing Congress that was held in the European city of Rotterdam.
Carlos Pérez, Director of Strategy of the company, was one of the outstanding speakers of the congress and during his presentation he explained that currently resistant weeds cause losses of up to 50% of yield in some crops. In this framework, Bioheuris works the combination of elite seed lines and herbicide resistance technologies with the aim of developing weed control systems.
“We were the only Argentine company present at the event that also served to interact with other companies in the field and learn first-hand what they are working on. Particularly our work was very well received because we are one of the few firms that are working on weed control, other firms focus on yields or disease control” Pérez, said.
The visit to the Netherlands was also key for the Argentine company because its representatives also visited the University of Ghent and, thanks to the contact with the linking unit of the university, they began to work on possible future joint projects.
The truth is that Bioheuris has been making great strides at the international level: weeks ago, he appointed Quan Zhang as Manager of Scientific Operations at his subsidiary in the United States. “We are very excited about opening our own laboratory in the United States. Our base of operations continues to be in the city of Rosario, where we have 14 researchers, but from now on, local work will be complemented by advances in molecular biology that are developed in the United States” Carlos Pérez, said.
Finally, regarding the medium-term projections from the Argentine company, they explain: “Five years from now, we are in an ideal scenario, without a doubt, already selling our products on the market, introducing new soy and sorghum technologies and growing in number of projects. We are convinced that the future is gene editing, we have the cost and speed of research in our favor. While producing a GMO costs around $ 100 million over 12-15 years of development, gene editing can cost around 10 million to 8 years of development. The future is very promising and Bioheuris aims to be a leader in this segment”, Carlos Pérez, explains.
Biohueris has strategic Partners such as the Criadero Santa Rosa that contributes its non-GMO and RR gemoplasm to edit, this will allow not only to achieve the desired attributes through editing but also to maintain the competitiveness of the product in terms of genetic gain.