Biotech Updates

Researchers Update on Potato Genome Editing

November 14, 2018

Polyploid plants are limitedly amenable to breeding and genetic engineering and editing because of difficulties in segregation and purifying genes of interest into a single line. Thus, such plants are usually clonally propagated. Nevertheless, efforts on proving the applicability of the genome editing technology have been applied in such plants, especially in potato, the third most important food crop after rice and wheat.

Researcher David Douches from Michigan State University and colleagues report on the latest efforts on potato genome editing in their paper published in Frontiers in Plant Science. Next to describing genome editing using TALENs and CRISPR, they cited genome editing studies done in potato and finally ended with future plans in using the technology for the improvement of potato. Among these studies are the editing of StSSR2, StALS1, and StVlnv genes, which are involved in tuber quality and herbicide tolerance, using TALENs. They also mentioned CRISPR-mediated editing of potato for the waxy tuber trait. Future plans for potato genome editing include making diploid potatoes to ease and hasten breeding and genome editing in the crop.

For more information, read the article in Frontiers in Plant Science.