Argentina Develops Potato Resistant to Fungus and Bacteria

By Dialogo
June 16, 2009

Buenos Aires, June 15 (EFE).- Argentina’s scientists have developed a potato plant resistant to fungus and bacteria, organisms that damage this type of crop and reduce its production, the local press informed today. The "superpotato" is the result of five years of research at the Agro-biotechnology Laboratory at the School of Exact and Natural Sciences, University of Buenos Aires (UBA). "We wanted to prove that it is possible to create broad -spectrum of resistances, and we have done it. That is why we insist this development should be considered proof of concept,” said Alejandro Mentaberry, director of the research group, in statements published today by the daily La Nación, in Buenos Aires. The researcher remarked that this plant is not only resistant to one pathogen agent, but to a great variety of micro organisms. This is highly valuable for farmers. To obtain this potato type, scientists modified three genes that codify the protein production with anti fungicidal and antibacterial properties, aimed at obtaining transgenic plants resistant to different pathogen agents. The same research group is currently working to develop resistance to bacteria and fungus in soy and corn varieties.