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Live Challenges

Targeted Insertion Technologies for Large DNA Fragments

Closing Date: January 31st, 2025

Portrait Brenden Barco

“Our ambition is to efficiently integrate large DNA fragments into specific genomic locations. By making trait expression and trait introgression paths more predictable, targeted insertion will accelerate R&D, delivering more innovative solutions to farmers, faster.”

Brenden Barco, Senior Scientist, Crop Trait and Technology Discovery


Syngenta is seeking technologies capable of precisely inserting a DNA fragment into plant genomes. Solutions with carrying capacity for cargo greater than 10 kilobase (kb) are of particular interest, as well as techniques that improve insertion efficiency.

As a leader in agricultural technologies, Syngenta employs science-based innovations that can transform food security and sustainability. Syngenta scientists are seeking novel or reimagined technologies capable of inserting a DNA fragment >10kb into a genome. Ideal solutions will have insertion efficiency equivalent to or exceeding that of Cre-Lox recombinase technology to support more effective genetic transformation and editing.

Solutions must be tested in eukaryotes, come from a known source organism or synthetic system, and must not be mammalian or human pathogen derived. Early-stage research is also of interest, particularly with in vivo data to support efficacy in eukaryotes. Syngenta is open to various partnership types, including joint research & development and technology licensing.

Ideal submissions will include an overview or reference to the methodology used for data collection, particularly molecular analysis.

What we're looking for

  • Can carry and insert cargo size >10kb into a genome
  • Known source organism or synthetic system, must not be mammalian or human pathogen-derived
  • Tested in wet lab (not in silico only), in eukaryotic or transient plant systems
  • Low/no toxicity in test organism
  • Unidirectional insertion
  • Tested in a stable plant system
  • Amenable with Agrobacterium-mediated transformation
  • Insertion efficiency equivalent or better than Cre-Lox recombinase
  • No scarring
  • Limited off-target outcomes

What we can offer you


Access to expertise including our 6,000+ forward thinking scientists

Realize real world potential from your research

Through our global reach and market knowledge we can help deliver impact from your research or technology

Funding and backing

We are able to fund selected projects to drive toward commercialization through our global footprint. We'll discuss with you how best we can take forward your technology or research together

New avenues and opportunities

Shared passion to tackle agriculture’s most complex challenges, increase innovation, and advance more sustainable agriculture

Work with us to help feed the world

Our people are specialists: they are innovators, scientists, engineers, technologists, regulatory experts and data scientists in multiple fields.