The CRISPR Cas-9 will lead to an explosion in potentially highly beneficial GMOs - Google it.
I believe that the gene editing tool CRISPR Cas-9 or it’s predecessors will one day, probably sooner than we think, make “designer plants” and eventually “designer roses” a reality. Of course, the advance of this technology has huge potential for good and bad, and there are many, many, social, ethical, and legal questions yet to be resolved regarding its use, so I’ll keep my questions to our genus Rosa.
If you knew which genes you wanted in a cross and knew where they where located in the parent plants to produce the offspring you desired, and you could “wave a magic wand” and make them all come together in one offspring, would you?
If you had a favorite rose, and you could “wave the magic wand” to eliminate all of its faults would you?
Now for the second part. If you were the inventor of the “magic wand” or more likely the company that the inventor worked for, and had spent lots of time and money on discovering exactly which genes were the genes you needed, figuring out where you could get them from, and finally crafting a way to make it all come together, would you build in guaranteed sterility into your plants so that you could recoup your investment and make a profit?
My fear is that the first successful adopters of this kind of technology will want lots of profit to fund future projects. I’m in my mid fifties, so I believe, with luck, I’ll live to see this type of technology applied to roses, but only to see complete sterility in plants released or the threat of lawsuits if we apply our time honored techniques to those specimens that are released that do have some fertility.
Is it right to issue patents on the use of genes that hybridizers have been chasing for centuries? Is it right to have laws preventing us in the future from using these designed combinations of genes through sexual reproduction of new cultivars?
Would you even consider crossing to one of these “genetically engineered” roses from the future?
On a personal note, if I could make all of my roses grow and bloom as healthily as my Blush Noisette does in a very shady in spot in my yard I would, as result, this year I’ve got twenty or so hips growing all over my yard with BN markers designating the pollen parent. But I promise, if I ever get anything interesting I will share it with this group.
I open it up for discussion and other pertinent questions.