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Annogen signs collaboration agreement with Tier 1 agricultural firm to research non-coding DNA influencing gene expression using SuRE™ screening technology

Annogen, the Amsterdam based biotech company behind the SuRE™ technology for the functional annotation of the non-coding part of the genome, started a collaboration with a Tier 1 agricultural firm to identify non-coding DNA fragments in plants’ genomes that influence the expression of important crop traits. This will open new possibilities to intentionally upregulate or downregulate the expression of important genes in crops.

Annogen has its primary focus on medical applications like cell therapy and drug discovery. Meanwhile, it has also already established the applicability of its SuRE™ technology in animals and plants. The new collaboration will provide another opportunity to expand the company’s track record of how SuRE™ can contribute to crop improvement.

​Agricultural biotech companies are constantly working on ways to up- or down regulate gene expression to influence traits of crops. While complete disruption of gene expression of relatively easy to establish using gene editing technologies, companies often want to achieve upregulation of gene expression or downregulation but without a complete loss of expression. Such scenarios can be achieved by the identification and subsequent editing of the non-coding elements in the genome that underlie gene expression and gene repression. Therefore, the application of non-coding DNA technologies offer new possibilities to improve plant breeding. Joris van Arensbergen, founder and CEO, is pleased with another collaboration in this field: “This collaboration illustrates the growing interest in functional annotation of the non-coding genome to serve as a roadmap for gene editing. This makes a lot of sense when up- or downregulation of expression is desired, rather than complete disruption”.

Source: Annogen (Press release)