Agrotechnology Study Program, Faculty of Agriculture, Universitas Sebelas Maret (UNS), in the context of Program Kompetisi Kampus Merdeka (PKKM), held a “Biotechnology Guest Lecture” Session 2. The topic of the guest lecture was “Unleashing the Potential Benefits of Genome Editing for Crop Improvement”. The main speaker is Inez H. Slamet-Loedin, Head – Rice genetic Design & Validation Unit International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Philippines. Research at IRRI aims to take innovation leadership for the global rice sector, catalyze large-scale impact on people and the planet by creating and supporting catalytic networks that drive widespread adoption of high impact innovations and technologies, transform rice-based agri-food systems, build a track record in delivering successful policy interventions and institutional capacity building programs that support the development of a just and sustainable rice sector globally. Dr. Inez H. Slamet-Loedin has conducted several studies, including genome editing in cereal crops, genome engineering to enrich Fe and Zn in rice grains and increasing the bioavailability of micronutrients and Rice Gene Knockout or Downregulation through CRISPR-Cas9.

The guest lecture was held on Thursday, September 9, 2021, starting at: 08.00 WIB by online Zoom. The guest lecture began with remarks by the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs UNS, Prof. Dr. Ir. Ahmad Yunus, M.S. and the Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture UNS, Prof. Dr. Ir. Samanhudi, S.P., M.Sc., IPM, ASEAN Eng. The guest lecture was guided by moderator Andriyana Setyawati, S.P., M.P., Ph.D. Also present was the Head of the UNS Agrotechnology Study Program, Dr. Ir. Parjanto, M.P., Chairperson in Charge of PKKM, Prof. Dr. Ir. Endang Yuniastuti, M.Sc., Head of PIC Dr. Ir. Amalia Tetrani Sakya, M.P., M.Phil., and lecturers and students of the UNS Agrotechnology Study Program. Participants came from various institutions such as Universitas Sebelas Maret, Braawijaya Universitas Pembangunan “Veteran” Jawa Timur, Universitas Jenderal Soedirman, Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta, Universitas Wahid Hasyim, Universitas Diponegoro, Universitas Pendikan Indonesia and Universitas Jember. The prospect of developing rice biotechnology is very important given the huge potential and market because rice is the staple food of the population in Southeast Asia, including the Philippines and Indonesia. Genome editing in rice begins with selecting a target gene/trait, designing single guide RNA and create DNA vector, reagent transfer to cell (via agrobacterium, virus, bombardment, electrophoresis and tissue culture or transfer in planta), mutation screening, then sequencing targets. The development of gene editing products is carried out in several stages, namely gene construct and molecular scissor design, reagent delivery to plant cells, tissue culture, screening, genotyping, and phenotyping of the desireable variants, production of transgene free variants, field testing and performance trials and then varietal release.