Biotech Updates

Researchers Take a Step Closer to Releasing the First Genetically Edited Potato in Latin America

November 15, 2023

According to the Agricultural Plant Biotechnology Association - Agro-Bio, Latin America is close to releasing the first gene-edited potato in the region. According to Dr. Gabriela Massa, a researcher at the Agrobiotechnology Laboratory of the Balcarce Agricultural Experimental Station (INTA) and the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research - CONICET, the gene-edited potato “will be registered as a new variety, and from then on, it will be available to whoever wants to license it.”

Potato is the world's third most important crop for human consumption. It is widely cultivated in Latin American countries, and it is part of the daily diet of millions of people in the region. The gene-edited potato is developed by turning off the gene that causes the darkening of the potato through the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technique. The darkening or browning of the potato is caused by an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase (PPO). The poor appearance of potatoes during the harvesting and transportation process contributes to the losses of farmers due to poor-quality products.

In a research developed by the INTA, results show that the gene-edited potato can stay fresh for up to 48 hours exposed to air without darkening. This promising result will help farmers reduce the losses brought about by food waste due to the potato's poor appearance.

For more information, read the article from the Agricultural Plant Biotechnology Association - Agro-Bio.

You might also like: