Jun 14, 2016
UK laboratory prepares for GM potato trials

The Sainsbury Laborartory (TSL), located in Norwich, U.K., is preparing for trials of genetically modified potatoes. The goal of the project is to develop a Maris Piper potato that is blight-resistant, bruises less and produces less acrylamide, the Eastern Daily Press reports.

The research team behind the project hopes to begin testing plants in the field in 2017.

Here’s more from the Eastern Daily Press:

A previous field trial in 2011/12 found that a single gene had conferred blight resistance into potatoes, but the aim of the next one will be to assess how that variety performs against potatoes with three sources of resistance to blight, plus other beneficial traits.

TSL researcher Marina Pais said: We will have our control plants, which are normal Maris Piper potatoes, then we have these transgenic plants with single resistant genes, and then hopefully the stack.

“The goal of the field trial is to test the performance of the plants in a real situation, so it will be great to get the plants out of the labs and the glasshouses

The GM potato field trial will take place on a small area of land, no larger than 1,000 sqm, at the John Innes Centre in Norwich.

Photo: Blight-resistant potatoes are being developed at The Sainsbury Laboratory; Steve Adams.

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