Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
AgriGenomics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

UK: Norfolk GM potato trial withstands blight

Published: Thursday, August 26, 2010
Last Updated: Thursday, August 26, 2010
Bookmark and Share
A trial plot of genetically-modified potatoes at Norfolk's John Innes Centre has withstood five days of intense late-blight infection.



- Michael Pollitt, Eastern Daily Press August 26, 2010

A trial plot of genetically-modified potatoes at Norfolk's John Innes Centre has withstood five days of intense late-blight infection.

Scientists spotted blight last week on the small trial plots of potatoes at Colney, which include GM resistance genes taken from wild relatives.

The initial results, after less than a week of late blight, appear to indicate that one plot of Desiree with a GM resistance gene, has stood up to the disease pressure.

However, scientist Prof Jonathan Jones, who has been leading the three-year trial involving 192 GM potato plants, stressed that it was far too early to jump to conclusions.

“I'm pretty happy with the indications but I'm also cautious because we have not done any proper analysis of the data. First impressions appear to show that one of the two genes tested has conferred a degree of protection on the plants.”

“We'll be looking into the reasons why. We have got quite a bit of analysis to do,” said Prof Jones, group leader at the JIC's Sainsbury Laboratory.

He said that the trial, which was given official clearance by Defra, was to assess the resistance of GM potato lines to naturally-occurring strains of late blight.

The scientists planted the eight-inch high Desiree potatoes in six blocks, each of four rows of eight in an area about the size of two pool tables. Other conventional potatoes, Maris Piper, were planted as a control alongside the plots.

Prof Jones said that impact of the disease was “visually obvious” on the ordinary potato varieties.

He said that all the potatoes from the trial plots, which had been planted inside a three-metre high metal fence costing about £20,000 to protect them from opponents of GM crops, would not enter the food chain. “Our licence stipulates that all the potatoes must be destroyed,” he added.

The initial results indicated that one of the GM trial plots, MCQ1, had not withstood the disease pressure. "But the other, VNT1, which confers resistance to the widespread and destructive new “superblight” Blue 13 strain in the laboratory, looks fine," said Prof Jones.

All the potatoes, which were planted outside in the first week of June, had been grown in a greenhouse until the official permission for the trial had been given.

Scientists screened wild potato relatives to look for natural resistance, which was identified. Two different resistance genes were then cloned and introduced into potato variety Desiree for the three-year trial.

The public-funded trial programme aims to assess effectiveness against last blight, which costs farmers an estimated £3.5bn worldwide each year.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,300+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,800+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Breeding More Climate Resilient Brassicas
Scientists at the John Innes Centre have discovered how a gene that helps determine plant flowering time could help us breed better brassicas in the face of climate change.
Friday, June 03, 2016
Super Wheat Brought Closer to Reality
Scientists at the John Innes Centre (JIC) and The Sainsbury Laboratory (TSL) have pioneered a new gene-detecting technology which, if deployed correctly could lead to the creation of a new elite variety of wheat with durable resistance to disease.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
“Growing” Medicines in Plants Requires new Regulations
Scientists say amending an EU directive on GMOs could help stimulate innovation in making cheaper vaccines, pharmaceuticals and organic plastics using plants.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
New Method for Associating Genetic Variation With Crop Traits
A new technique will allow plant breeders to introduce valuable crop traits even without access to the full genome sequence of that crop.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Major Grant from Gates Foundation to UK Center to Develop Self-Fertilizing Crops for the Developing World
The John Innes Centre in UK will lead a $9.8m research project to investigate whether it is possible to initiate a symbiosis between cereal crops and bacteria. The symbiosis could help cereals access nitrogen from the air to improve yields.
Monday, July 16, 2012
Genomics unlocks key to Mendel's pea flowers
John Innes Centre scientists have helped discover the key to one of biology's most well-known experiments - the gene that controls pea flower colour, used by Gregor Mendel in his initial studies of inheritance.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Scientific News
Flowers Arrange Themselves for Bees
Study suggests plants can maximise their chances of reproduction by taking advantage of how insects move when they gather nectar.
Improving Wheat Crops in the Field
Agrii, RAGT and the University of Nottingham are developing better disease management and yield production in wheat crops using ASD FieldSpec Handheld 2 portable spectroradiometers.
Unravelling the Roots of Insect’s Waterproof Coating
Researchers have identified the genes that control cuticular lipid production in Drosophila, by performing an RNAi screen and using Direct Analysis in Real Time and GC-MS.
Structural link to Brain Cell Death in Alzheimer's
Study reveals multiple new leads for pursuing potential Alzheimer's treatments
Disentangling the Plant Microbiome
Study says breeding plants, to feed a growing global population, with more beneficial bacteria is far from simple.
Cellular Origin of Skin Cancer Identified
Scientists have identified ‘cell of origin’ in the most common form of skin cancer, and followed the process that leads to tumour growth.
How Plants Sense Electric Fields
An international group of researchers has identified the sensor plants use to sense electric fields. The voltage sensor discovery could contribute to the understanding of how the Ebola virus enters human cells.
Google and EI Partner for Next Generation of Coders
The Earlham Institute's open-source project for visualisation of biological data BioJS acts as mentor organisation for Google Summer of Code 2016.
DNA Production Facility Begins Operation
Scientists mark the opening of the UK's first fully automated DNA construction and modification facility.
A 3D Paper-Based Microbial Fuel Cell
Researchers have developed a proof-of-concept 3D paper-based microbial fuel cell (MFC) that could take advantage of capillary action to guide the liquids through the MFC system and to eliminate the need for external power.
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,300+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,800+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!