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Improving Potato Storage and Processing Characteristics through All-Native DNA Transformation

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posted on 27.12.2006 by Caius M. Rommens, Jingsong Ye, Craig Richael, Kathy Swords
The dominant potato (Solanum tuberosum) variety for French fry production in the United States is the 131-year-old Russet Burbank. Market penetration of the higher yielding and more uniform Ranger Russet variety is limited to about one-fifth of that of the Russet Burbank because of two storage deficits:  black spot bruise sensitivity and high levels of cold-induced sweetening. Here, these trait weaknesses are turned into strengths by simultaneously lowering the expression of Ranger Russet's tuber-expressed polyphenol oxidase (Ppo), starch-associated R1, and phosphorylase-L (PhL) genes. This genetic modification was accomplished without inserting any foreign DNA into the plant genome. French fries from the intragenic potatoes also contained reduced amounts of the antinutritional compound acrylamide while, unexpectedly, displaying enhanced sensory characteristics. Keywords: Genetic engineering; acrylamide; intragenic crops; potato