Biotech Updates

Gene Stacking Provides Better Resistance in Potato against Late Blight

September 2, 2015

Scientists from Ghent University, VIB, Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO) and partners released the results of their GM potato field study in the journal Crop Protection. The field trials of GM potatoes were conducted in Belgium and Netherlands to investigate the efficacy of adding one to three resistance genes in potatoes against last blight caused by Phytophthora infestans. Results showed that the tested genes have different contributions to resistance. They have identified a certain stack of genes from Solanum venturii, Solanum stoloniferum and Solanum bulbocastanum that provides the best resistance to late blight.

Based on the findings, the researchers concluded that breeding has to focus on putting together a wide combination of natural resistance genes in new varieties, at least three, but four or five is even better. Also, the resistance genes have to be sufficiently different. For sustainable resistance management, it is necessary to change the combination of genes in the new varieties strategically.

Read more information from VIB.