Covering food necessities is mandatory, but resources are not sustainably exploited nor equally distributed. Global strategies to increase food productivity and quality need to be concealed with a local perspective, e.g. providing local breeders with the necessary technology to improve their indigenous varieties. The aim of HYPE-IT is to decrease current technological barriers for breeding local crops using precision genome engineering.
The goal is to ease the gene editing process using SynBio-inspired optimized/simplified CRISPR/Cas9 tools. HYPE-IT brings along a software tool that associates crop traits with specific gene targets and designs optimal gRNAs for those targets. HYPE-IT also incorporates a modular gene circuit that serves as an in vivo gRNA testing system, ensuring appropriate gRNA choice even when no precise sequence information of local varieties is available. Moreover, we aim to develop a split Cas9 system based on viral vectors to efficiently deliver the editing machinery into the plant, and to create an affordable Labcase with all the necessary laboratory equipment for HYPE-IT.