Argentina approves disease-resistant GM potato

August 21 , 2018

Argentine authorities have approved the commercialization of a genetically modified PVY-resistant potato.

The transgenic potato, named TIC-AR233-5, will help growers avoid losses from the virus.

The virus can result in yield declines of up to 70%, according to Argentina-based Tecnoplant, which holds the marketing license.

The potato will also help growers to use fewer agrochemicals in its cultivation, the company said.

The Health and Agri-Food Quality National Service, Senasa, said the product complies with all the necessary requirements, according to La Nación.

“The Senasa is in charge of evaluating toxicity, allergies and that the nutritional attributes of the crop are not deteriorated, and this last point was the one that had been missing,” Andrés Murchison, Secretary for Food and Bioeconomy, was quoted as saying.

Murchinson said that the new potato could help growers to reduce handling costs and could also boost the quality of the final product.

PVY is the second-most severe potato virus in the world, after the potato leafroll virus (PLRV). It is transmitted by aphids, machinery, and tools.

The tuber was developed through an agreement between government agency the National Council of Scientific and Technical Research, and the Institute of Genetic Engineering and Experimental Biology (INGEBI).

Other crops

It is expected that regulatory processes for other crops will continue to be optimized in the future, said Murchinson.

“It is likely that more releases will materialize before the end of the year and hopefully all of them will be the engine of our bioeconomy,” said the secretary.

In Argentina, a Monsanto maize was also released, which has inducible male sterility, so when it is sprayed with glyphosate, at a specific time of plant development, the advance of pollen is slowed down, which leads to a better genetics control.

In addition, work is being carried out on modified cotton, maize resistant to herbicides and drought-resistant soybeans.

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