Gene-Edited Mushroom Served as Test Case for USDA Regulation of New Generation of GMO Crops
Using the CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technology, the Yang lab successfully performed targeted mutation of polyphenol oxidase and produced a transgene-free, anti-browning mushroom. A study of its commercialization has been supported by a RAIN grant from the College of Agricultural Sciences and the Penn State Research Foundation. As the first test case for regulation of CRISPR-edited crops, the USDA ruled in April 2016 that the anti-browning mushroom would not be subjected to the USDA regulation because the transgene-free mushroom does not contain any foreign DNA. The USDA ruling has profound implications for the development and regulation of CRISPR-edited, genetically improved crops and was widely reported by numerous scientific and popular news media such as Nature, Science, MIT Technology Review, Newsweek, Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, The Huffington Post, National Public Radio, and The Guardian.