Breeding, Pests and Diseases, Research

Research: Wild potato genes require less chemicals

PotatoesWhen genetically modifying potatoes with genes from wild potato varieties to develop Phytophthora-resistant plants, researchers from Holland’s Wageningen University also developed plants requiring 80 percent less chemical control than conventional potatoes. Farmers who can afford to do so spray their potato crops against the Phytophthora infestans pathogen with chemicals up to 15 times a year. Farmers without the means for chemical control sometimes lose a large part of their yields as a result of the disease. The researchers’ goal was to find “proof of principle” for genetically modifying potato varieties with genes of wild species in order to develop durable resistance against Phytophthora. More

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