Crop plants will be improved through changing expression levels of either of two genes (eIF-5A or DHS) whose ratio of protein products determines whether the cell will either grow and divide or enter apoptosis and die. A non-GMO approach uses genome editing to alter activity of these gene products. These stable genetic changes significantly enhance crop traits, including:
  1. delayed senescence/fruit ripening/spoilage leading to extended shelf life of perishable produce;
  2. enhanced tolerance to diseases and stress (drought, heat, cold, salt, low nutrients, crowding); and most importantly
  3. increased biomass and seed yields.