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Pairwise develops first seedless blackberry with CRISPR technology

Pairwise, a company specialised in genetics-based innovation in food and agriculture, has developed the world's first seedless blackberry. Created using the company's proprietary Fulcrumâ„¢ Platform, a complete suite of novel tools for CRISPR application in plants, this is the first time seedlessness has been achieved in any caneberry.

Ryan Bartlett, Pairwise Chief Technology Officer, "We are thrilled to share this breakthrough achievement from our talented R&D team. Pairwise scientists have used their deep knowledge of plant genetics, broad suite of CRISPR tools, and multiplex editing techniques to eliminate the hard pits in berry fruit, creating soft, small seeds like those found in grapes and watermelon that are commonly labeled as seedless. The result is the first seedless blackberry in the world. We expect that this trait will not only transform the blackberry market, but it also lays the groundwork for accelerated progress in removing seeds and pits in many other fruits such as cherries."

Recent innovations in produce have been rapidly adopted due to the significant benefits they provide consumers, such as improved flavor, consistency, and convenience.

"The berry variety we edited is consistently sweet year-round and holds up well during shipment; now, consumers will have the option to choose a nutritious blackberry without seeds that also reliably delivers great flavor and quality," said Haven Baker, Pairwise Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer. "Blackberries are a snackable fruit with significant health benefits; however, data indicates that more than 30% of berry buyers do not like the seeds, and many more do not even buy the fruit because of the seeds."

In addition to creating the first seedless caneberry, Pairwise has successfully edited the same variety to eliminate thorns and create a more compact plant that delivers benefits for harvesters, growers, and the environment. The thornless and compact traits enable more efficient fruit harvesting and improved productivity and profitability for growers. The new compact trait means the plants are smaller and can be planted at a higher density per acre. Early data from Pairwise-led trials indicate the potential to greatly increase yield per acre while necessitating only a minimal increase in inputs – meaning the water and land used per crate of fruit harvested decreases significantly.

"We're excited to advance these berries into the next phase of product development, including outdoor field trials, as we work toward scaling up and making them available to the public in a few years," said Baker.

Tom Adams, Pairwise Co-Founder and CEO, "As part of our drive to increase the consumption of fruit and vegetables, we're working to provide consumers with new, highly nutritious food options with improved flavour and convenience. With a deep understanding of the plant genome, an accurate, efficient, and scalable process, and streamlined pathway to commercialization, with our proprietary CRISPR technology, we are creating a new era of innovation in agriculture."

For more information:
Diana Souder
[email protected]

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