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A blight-free British potato


February 24, 2014
By Financial Times

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February 24, 2014 – A three-year field trial in Norfolk of potatoes genetically modified to resist late blight – the fungal disease responsible for the great Irish famine of the 19th century – has produced encouraging results.

Plants with a resistance gene inserted from a South American wild relative of potatoes remained free of infection, while all the non-GM potatoes succumbed to blight. The results were published recently in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.

The trial, led by Jonathan Jones of the Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, used Desiree potatoes, one of the most popular varieties in the UK. Each year 192 GM potatoes were planted, alongside non-GM control plants, on the trial plot. READ MORE

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