Australian Seed Company Trials AI Gene Editing in Wheat

  • Australian seed company InterGrain collaborates with Inari to conduct major trials on gene-edited wheat, aiming for enhanced productivity.
  • Utilizing AI and CRISPR technology, the program targets multiple gene edits simultaneously, promising 10 to 15 times faster crop improvement compared to traditional methods.
  • Gene editing offers potential solutions to global challenges such as food security, climate resilience, and agricultural profitability.
  • Regulatory acceptance of gene-edited crops in key markets like the U.S., Japan, and China signals a paradigm shift in agricultural practices.
  • While genetically modified soybeans have found acceptance, the modification of wheat faces scrutiny due to its significance in human consumption.

Main AI News:

In the ever-evolving landscape of agriculture, innovative methods are being employed to enhance crop productivity and meet the growing demands of global food security. One such groundbreaking approach gaining traction is gene editing, a process that involves precisely altering the genetic makeup of plants to achieve desired traits.

Gene editing distinguishes itself from genetic modification by focusing on modifying existing genes within a plant, such as wheat, rather than introducing entirely new DNA, as seen in genetically modified organisms (GMOs). This nuanced technique is regarded as less risky by regulators and scientists, aligning closely with traditional plant breeding methods.

Amidst this paradigm shift, Australian seed breeder InterGrain is poised to embark on a significant trial involving gene-edited wheat. Partnering with the American agricultural technology company Inari, InterGrain has imported thousands of wheat seeds, each harboring a multitude of genetic variations.

Tress Walmsley, Chief Executive of InterGrain, highlighted the scope of the endeavor, noting the inclusion of hundreds of novel genetic variations within the imported seeds. These seeds are currently undergoing cultivation in a state-of-the-art testing greenhouse located in Queensland, with plans underway to propagate them for widespread cultivation across Australia by 2025.

Our objective is to discern the optimal gene combinations that yield superior results,” Walmsley affirmed, emphasizing a target of at least a 10 percent enhancement in yield. With the potential of these gene-edited seeds to deliver on this promise, the company envisions commercial availability to Australian farmers as early as 2028.

Central to this pioneering effort is the utilization of artificial intelligence (AI) by Inari, which enables the exploration of a vast array of potential genetic edits. Leveraging the CRISPR gene-editing tool, Inari can precisely target and modify multiple genes simultaneously, revolutionizing the pace of crop improvement.

InterGrain and Inari anticipate a transformative impact on wheat cultivation, with the program poised to accelerate crop enhancement processes by 10 to 15 times compared to traditional breeding methods. This streamlined approach stands to yield sturdier wheat varieties and significantly bolster crop yields, heralding a new era of agricultural innovation.

Beyond theoretical promise, gene-edited crops have already demonstrated tangible benefits, ranging from incremental nutritional enhancements to enhanced disease resistance. The forthcoming wave of gene-edited wheat plants in Australia is poised to embody these advancements, offering a multifaceted solution to pressing global challenges.

Inari is committed to addressing key imperatives such as food security, climate resilience, and agricultural profitability simultaneously,” remarked Ponsi Trivisvavet, CEO of Inari, underscoring the holistic approach driving their endeavors.

Australia’s strategic focus on securing approval for exporting gene-edited wheat reflects a broader global acceptance of this transformative technology. With countries like the U.S., Japan, and China paving the way for regulatory approval, the stage is set for widespread adoption of gene-edited crops as a cornerstone of future agricultural practices.

In parallel, Inari’s collaborative efforts extend beyond wheat, with initiatives underway to enhance crop yields in soybeans through gene editing. While genetically modified soybeans have gained acceptance in many countries, the modification of wheat faces greater scrutiny due to its prominent role in human consumption.


The partnership between InterGrain and Inari heralds a new era of agricultural innovation, with gene editing poised to revolutionize crop improvement processes. With regulatory acceptance and technological advancements driving market dynamics, gene-edited crops are positioned to address pressing global challenges, shaping the future of agriculture.