Biotech Updates

Geneticist Improves Potato Using Molecular Scissors

April 22, 2015

University of Minnesota geneticist Dan Voytas developed Ranger Russet potato using gene editing. Ranger Russet does not accumulate sweet sugars in cold temperatures, prolonging its shelf life. At the same time, it produces lesser amount of acrylamide when fried.

Gene editing is a new technique in altering DNA using artificially engineered nucleases or "molecular scissors". Voytas used Transcription Activator-Like Effector Nucleases (TALENs), a technique that does not leave behind traces of modification except for a few deleted letters of DNA. The modification disabled a single gene that transforms sucrose into glucose and fructose, prolonging the shelf life without compromising the quality.

Read more from MIT Technology Review.