Gene editing for improvement in plant and animal species

Joint proyects
USD 230.000
Counterpart Amount:
USD 913.163
Execution time
42 Months
Total Amount:
USD 1.143.163
Participating countries:
Argentina Argentina Chile Chile Colombia Colombia Ecuador Ecuador Paraguay Paraguay Uruguay Uruguay Brazil Brazil
Funding source:
FONTAGRO Amount 20% Other agencies 0% Counterpart Amount 80%

Executive Summary

Crop and animal breeding is one of the constant challenges faced by the agricultural sector when trying to achieve increases in product yield and quality. The FAO proposes that, in order to meet nutritional demand during the next 32 years, the agricultural sector must produce between 50-70% more food, forage and biofuels than a decade ago. CRISPR-based gene editing (GE) is one of the most promising new biotechnologies for achieving this goal. GE is strongly based on knowledge of crop and animal gene functioning, and can be useful for conventional selection for breeds or varieties with desirable or novel traits in a short period of time. The enormous potential of this technique can be seen through proof of concept in the cultivation of important crops such as corn, cotton, rice, potato, soybean, and in cattle, sheep and pig breeding. The objective of this project is to consolidate regional GE research and innovation capacities for the improvement of species of agricultural interest, as a contribution to the technological sovereignty, value-added production, and the productive, economic and social development of the region. 

The technological solution

  • Potato varieties with improved health and nutritional and industrial quality.
  • Soybean varieties suitable for monogastric consumption (pigs, poultry, fish).
  • Genetic lines of animals with modified characteristics to generate products and / or by-products of interest for livestock production.


  • Improve plant health, nutritional value and industrial quality of new potato varieties.
  • Increase differentiated quality of soybean for monogastric consumption.
  • Produce animals (cattle and sheep) with new characteristics of interest for livestock production.
  • Build a gene editing platform (GEP) through the consolidation of regional R&D capacities in species of agricultural interest.


The potential beneficiaries of the genome editing project in plants and animals in South America are diverse and encompass various sectors and interest groups. Firstly, farmers and ranchers in the region will directly benefit from improved crops and animals offering higher yields, disease resistance, and nutritional quality, leading to increased productivity and profitability of their operations. Additionally, the agri-food industry will benefit from access to higher-quality raw materials with specific characteristics, potentially leading to the creation of new products and markets. Moreover, consumers will benefit from access to more nutritious and safer foods. Furthermore, regional scientific research and the academic community will benefit from strengthening their capacities in genome editing, promoting the advancement of knowledge and innovation in agricultural biotechnology in theses and other productive species of interest. In summary, the project has the potential to positively impact the entire agri-food chain, from producers to end consumers, contributing to the economic, social, and scientific development of the region.

Sustainable Development Goals

No poverty Zero Hunger Good health and well-being Responsible consumption and production Climate action Partnerships for the goals

Main donors

Participating Organizations

  • Fundación ArgenINTA (ARGENINTA) - Argentina
  • Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA) - Argentina
  • Instituto Nacional de Investigación Agropecuaria (INIA) - Uruguay
  • Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias (INIA) - Chile
  • Instituto Paraguayo de Tecnología Agraria (IPTA) - Paraguay
  • Corporación Colombiana de Investigación Agropecuaria (AGROSAVIA) - Colombia
  • Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agropecuarias (INIAP) - Ecuador
  • Empresa Brasileña de Investigación Agropecuaria (EMBRAPA) - Brasil
  • UdelaR - Uruguay
  • Asociados Don Mario SA (Asociados Don Mario SA ) - Argentina
  • Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA) - Argentina
  • Programa Cooperativo para el Desarrollo Tecnológico Agroalimentario y Agroindustrial del Cono Sur (PROCISUR) - Uruguay
  • Asociación de Cooperativas Argentinas (ACA) - Argentina
  • Consorcio Papa - Chile

Graphics and data

Financing by country (in USD)
FONTAGRO Amount Other agencies Counterpart Amount

Geolocated Map


Project leader Argentina



Sabina VIDAL


Johanna Buitron


Santiago Meneses


Humberto PRIETO




Gabriela MASSA


Leandro Picotto


Adriana LAURO




Anabel Poulsen


Federico Hozbor

With the support of
Fondo Coreano de Alianza para el Conocimiento en Tecnología e Innovación (KPK)