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Practical Application of Molecular Genetics for Improved Potato Cultivars


<OL> <LI> Improve post harvest characteristics including safety of potato cultivars. <LI> Construct transgenic potato plants containing genes designed to decrease levels of natural glycoalkaloid toxicants and confer resistance to blackspot bruise and bacterial/fungal pathogens. <LI> Evaluate transgene expression and performance of transgenic clones in the greenhouse and under field conditions to identify transgenes capable of conferring beneficial phenotypes.

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A number of transgenes designed to decrease levels of natural glycoalkaloid toxicants and increase resistance to blackspot bruise and pathogens were introduced into potato cultivars. Approaches include down-regulation of the glycoalkaloid biosynthetic pathway and components of the bruise reaction using antisense RNA technology. Additional transgenes employ antimicrobial peptides toxic to pathogenic bacteria and fungi. Preliminary data suggest that several transgenic clones have improved phenotypic performance. Both the performance and transgene expression of existing clones will be evaluated further. New transgenes with the potential to confer improved performance will be constructed and evaluated in potato cultivars. Lab protocols evaluated as BSL-1; IBC approved 01/10/99. Field releases reviewed-Federal/State agnys.

REPLACED: 5325-42430-001-00D.

Belknap, William
USDA - Agricultural Research Service
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