Research Topic

Leeway to Operate with Plant Genetic Resources

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The plant genetic resources (PGR) regulatory frameworks that are relevant for research and breeding have become increasingly detailed and complex over the past few decades. This includes international agreements and conventions on 1) the access and benefit-sharing (ABS) of genetic resources, 2) ...

The plant genetic resources (PGR) regulatory frameworks that are relevant for research and breeding have become increasingly detailed and complex over the past few decades. This includes international agreements and conventions on 1) the access and benefit-sharing (ABS) of genetic resources, 2) national/regional biosafety legislation related to the technologies for managing and improving the genetic material, and 3) intellectual property (IP) systems including plant breeders' rights (PBR) and patents as well as competition law issues specific to the plant innovation sector.

This Research Topic addresses the leeway to operate with PGR from a multitude of perspectives. This includes the various policy and regulatory aspects that researchers and breeders have to relate to when accessing PGR, working on the PGR material in order to manage agriculturally relevant traits, and protecting the outcome of their investments. The following topics are therefore covered here:

General
- Opportunities and obstacles for plant researchers and breeders considering national and international PGR agreements and conventions
- “Open access” in a PGR context (concerning both ABS and IP)
- Is there a looming risk of a policy bottlenecks for crop genetic diversity?
- Governing options of digital sequence information, and synthetic biology
- The perspectives of various stakeholder groups in relation to the PGR frameworks

Access and Benefit-Sharing
- PGR from common heritage to national heritage
- Digital sequence information and/or synthetic biology in an ABS context
- Consequences of the Nagoya protocol for international research collaborations
- Impact of the Nagoya protocol and/or the International Treaty on PGR conservation and use
- Impact of the Nagoya protocol and/or the International Treaty on innovation

Biosafety
- The relevance of risk assessment in the context of old and new gene technologies in plant breeding and its impact on the seed chain
- Consequences of international disagreements on regulatory frameworks for breeding
- Definitions in the context of policies and regulatory frameworks for precision breeding
- Reassessment of the legal principles on biosafety in the light of the experience acquired in the last decades and the new challenges brought by the new breeding techniques
- Synthetic biology

Plant Innovation
- IP protection for plant innovations, and other potentially protective frameworks and competition law related aspects
- The emerging patent landscape associated with new breeding techniques, and its consequences
- Comparative analyses of the impact of patent versus plant breeders rights
- “Open source seed”
- “Essentially biological process” in the context of patent legislation
- “Essentially derived variety” in the context of emerging directed mutagenesis techniques
- Competition law issues related to market concentration in the seed sector

Interdisciplinary co-authors teams are highly encouraged, as well as cross-cutting manuscripts that interlink and integrate various regulatory aspects related to the governance of PGR. Manuscripts on the regulatory and policy aspects are welcome, as well as Reviews, and Original Research that is relevant in a PGR regulatory context. Creative and forward-looking proposed solutions to existing issues and problems are particularly encouraged.


Keywords: Access and Benefit-Sharing, Biosafety, Plant Variety Protection, Policy, Plant Genetic Resources


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