Crop Biotech Update

Field Testing and Use of GM Cassava with Low Amylose Starch in Indonesia

April 15, 2011

Development and field testing of genetically modified secondary crops like cassava is still in its early stage. Traditional breeding of cassava is difficult compared to other crops because of its complex breeding characteristics. Thus, H. J. J. Koehorst-van Putten of the Wageningen University and Research Center in the Netherlands developed low-amylose cassava through genetic modification. Low-amylose cassava is desirable for various technical applications of starch because amylose has a strong tendency to recrystallize in water, needing chemical treatment before use.

Results of the field trial in Indonesia showed that ten out of the 15 GM cassava plants have no significant difference from the tuberous root yield of the control. Phenotypic and molecular analyses confirmed that the starch produced from GM cassava have very low or zero amylose content. The quality of the starch from GM cassava was also appropriate for the production of tomato sauce. Therefore, genetic modification could be used to obtain low-amylose cassava plants with commercial potential with good root yield and starch quality.

Read the research paper at http://www.springerlink.com/content/g178h26tgku5q112/.