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Crop Biotech Update

Nonbrowning Potatoes Proven Safe by Scientists

July 9, 2010

Researchers are expecting that the next generation of transgenic crops with multiple stacked traits would have better acceptance than the first generation of GM crops with only a single trait improved. This is because of the additional benefits that farmers and consumers can get from the new ones, as long as they are proven to be as safe as the traditionally bred crops. Thus, Briardo Llorente of Universidad de Buenos Aires and colleagues performed a comprehensive study of the "comparative safety approach on a quality-improved biotech crop with metabolic modifications" using three transgenic potato lines with reduced tuber browning. In evaluating the yield-associated traits and photosynthesis, the transgenic and the wild-type (WT) potatoes are the same. On the other hand, primary metabolism analysis revealed that the transgenic tubers have enhanced metabolism compared to the WT controls. Allergenic proteins and unfavorable effects in physiological parameters were not found in the transgenic tubers. Therefore, the results of this study could be an initial evidence that the next generation of biotech crops can be evaluated using the existing evaluation criterion, even if the transgenic lines and the WT plants are not significantly alike.

Subscribers of the Plant Biotechnology Journal can view the original research article at http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/123455471/HTMLSTART.