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Bioteknologi Untuk Ketahanan Pangan

Bioteknologi pembiakan tanaman baru dapat mendukung ketahanan pangan berbagai negara. Misalnya, teknnologi editing genome seperti CRISPR/Cas, meningkatkan produksi pertanian. Begitu hasil riset tim ahli dari Jerman, Pakistan, Arab Saudi, Filipina, dan Belgia yang dirilis oleh Science Maret 2019 (Syed Shan-e-Ali Zaidi et al, “New plant breeding technologies for food security”, Science , 29 Maret 2019, Vol. 363, Issue 6434, pp. 1390-1391).

Hasil riset dan kajian tim ahli itu menunjukkan bahwa teknologi-teknologi pembiakan tanaman yang ramah-lingkungan, dapat menghasilkan keamanan dan ketahanan pangan (food-security).  Melalui teknik editing genome, urutan DNA berubah atau beralih dengan tepat tanpa dimasukan gen-gen asing.  Tanaman-tanaman baru hasil teknik edit genome berbeda dari organisma hasil modifikasi genetik transgenik (genetically modified organisms/GMOs).

“Genome editing allows us to develop crop plants that are more resistant to pests and diseases and more tolerant to drought and heat. The new methods are already being used in various cereals and also to improve neglected food crops such as pulses or local vegetables,” papar Shahid Mansoor, ahli bioteknologi pada National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, 38000 Faisalabad di Pakistan (University of Göttingen, 29/3/2019).

Teknik edit genome diharapkan tidak memicu risiko-risiko lingkungan dan kehidupan di planet Bumi. Karena intensitas tinggi dari penggunaan agrokimiawi selama ini telah memicu risiko-risiko lingkungan dan kehidupan, sangat serius. Karena itu, bioteknologi harus dapat mengurangi risiko ‘environmental footprint’ dan menghasilkan pertanian yang lebih tahan terhadap tekanan perubahan iklim dan pemanasan global (Science Daily, 29/3/2019).

“Plant breeding and other agricultural technologies have contributed considerably to hunger reduction during the last few decades. We should be careful not to repeat the mistakes that were made with GMOs. The limited public acceptance and the high regulatory hurdles for transgenic GMOs have contributed to a concentration of biotech developments in only a few major crops and in the hands of only a few multinationals. We need more diversity and more competition. Genome-edited crops do not contain foreign genes; as the breeding techniques are more precise, these crops are as safe as conventionally bred crops. Hence, genome-edited crops should not be regulated as if they were transgenic GMOs,” ujar Profesor Dr. Matin Qaim, ekonom pertanian di University of Göttingen  (University of Göttingen, 29/3/2019).

Kini regulasi tanaman hasil edit genome masih memicu perdebatan. Misalnya, Juli 2018, EU Court of Justice, memerintahkan bahwa jenis-jenis tanaman ini harus mematuhi Undang-undang (UU) dan peraturan tentang GMO yang sudah ada. Hal ini berbeda dengan hasil riset dan kajian para ahli itu. “This will hold up future applications,” ungkap Matin Qaim (University of Göttingen, 29/3/2019).

Tim ahli yang terlibat dalam riset dan studi ilmiah itu ialah (1) Syed Shan-e-Ali Zaidi (Plant Genetics, TERRA Teaching and Research Center, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, University of Liège; National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Faisalabad); (2) Hervé Vanderschuren (Plant Genetics, TERRA Teaching and Research Center, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, University of Liège, Gembloux); (3) Matin Qaim (Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, University of Goettingen, 37073 Goettingen di Jerman); (4) Magdy M. Mahfouz (Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division (BESE), King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal); (5) Ajay Kohli (Strategic Innovation Platform, International Rice Research Institute, DAPO 7777, Makati di Filipina); (6) Shahid Mansoor (National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, 38000 Faisalabad di Pakistan); dan (7) Mark Tester (BESE, KAUST Thuwal).

Teknik genome editing adalah teknik rekayasa gen. DNA dimasukan, diganti atau dibuang dari genome melalui rekayasa nukelas atau “molucular scissors”. Nukleas membuat double-strand breaks (DSBs) khusus pada bagian tertentu genome. Mekanisme selnya memulihkan induksi “break” alamiah. (Esvelt, KM et al. (2013). "Genome-scale engineering for systems and synthetic biology." Mol Syst Biol 9 (1): 641; Tan W.S. et al (2012). "Precision editing of large animal genomes." Adv Genet 80: 37–97). CRISPR/Cas Tools adalah platform piranti lunak dan sarana bioinformatika untuk desain gRNAS dari sistem CRISPR/Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR associated nucleases)—akuisisi respons kekebalan dengan archea dan bakteri yang kini dipakai untuk program-ulang NDA sel mamalia. 

Oleh: Servas Pandur