This summer, Stefan Jansson has grown (probably for the first time) gene-edited cabbage plants in his garden. Together with the journalist Gustaf Klarin from Radio Sweden, he has harvested and lunched the plants that were modified using the “genetic scissors” CRISPR-Cas9. This news motivated even the prestigious journal Science to write a news message about it.

Since several years, Stefan Jansson, professor at the Umeå Plant CRISPR middag Bild 17 IG WebbScience Centre (UPSC) and at Umeå University, is very active in discussing questions about GMO (genetically modified organisms). The recent development of gene editing methods like CRISPR-Cas9 breathed new life into this GMO discussion.  

CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)-Cas9 allows either to exchange one part of a gene by another DNA fragment or to cut a segment out. The cabbage plant grown this summer in Stefan’s garden was modified in the latter way, i.e. a segment of the DNA was removed but no “foreign DNA” introduced.  

The Swedish Board of Agriculture decided in November 2015 that plants modified with this new technique by which defined parts of the DNA are cut out of the genome are not considered to fall under the GMO-legislation. This decision allowed Stefan Jansson to grow the modified cabbage plants legally in his garden. He has blogged about his unique summer gardening experiences in the “Forskarbloggen” at Umeå University. 

Gustaf Klarin from the Radio Sweden gardening program “Odla med P1” joined Stefan Jansson for the harvest of the first Swedish garden-grown CRISPR plants. They have lunched together “Tagliatelle with CRIPSRy fried vegetables” and were pleased by the astonishingly good taste of the cabbage.

Meanwhile, this first gene-edited meal has made big waves worldwide. Not only Science found it worth to mention but also several other journals. It is not really clear if this was really the first time that a meal was prepared from a gene-edited plant. However, it is clearly the first time that such a meal got such a resonance.

If you like to read more have a look on the following links:

Press release from Umeå University in English or Swedish
Forskarbloggen at Umeå University (only in Swedish)
Sweden Radio report "Odla med P1" and Vetenskapsradio (only in Swedish)
Science News

For more information, please contact:
Stefan Jansson, Professor at the Department of Plant Physiology, Umeå University
Phone: +46 70-677 23 31
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.