Field trials of non-browning CRISPR-edited potatoes begin in Argentina

WEB Potatoes ver

In a study published recently in the Frontiers in Plant Science magazine, scientists from Argentina and Sweden reported they have edited a polyphenol oxidase gene in potatoes ( Solanum tubersoum L.). After successfully editing the gene, they obtained tubers free of enzymatic browning.

In potato, oxidized polyphenol enzymes are encoded by a gene family with different expression patterns in the plant. As stated in the publication, the “results show that the CRISPR / Cas9 system can be applied to develop transgene-free [non-GMO] potato varieties with reduced enzymatic browning in tubers, through the specific edition of a single member of the gene family ”

With the approval of the National Agricultural Biotechnology Advisory Commission (Conabia), field trials began that “will …. generate data to register the variety with [Argentina’s Instituto Nacional De Semillas] INASE,” [ said Matías González, a co-author of the study].

Related article:  Gene-editing rock stars: Geneticists set record with 13,200 CRISPR edits of single cell, opening door to 'radical redesign' of species

During the field trial, researchers will observe the selected lines in the context of normal production, allowing scientists to analyze other morphological aspects of the plants obtained.

[Editor’s note: This story was published in Spanish and has been translated and edited for clarity.]

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