After 20 years of biotechnological research, the first GMO potato that is resistant to the PVY virus is said to go on sale to the public next year in Argentina. The potato’s productive and economic benefits are estimated at 45 million dollars per year in the Argentine market alone.
This transgenic potato is the result of an achievement by Technoplant, a subsidiary of the Sidus group of companies.
On August 8 of 2018, this new potato variety reportedly received all the phytosanitary approvals that was required under law in Argentina. On December 10 it was officially launched at the ‘la Rural’ trade show in the presence of Government officials, scientists, and entrepreneurs in the agro-industry in Argentina.
According to Marcelo Argüelles, president of the Sidus group, “the Spunta TICAR potato is the culmination of a long process, and it is the realization of this country’s first transgenic plant. We arrived first – and that implies we have to continue working to contribute more similar solutions to the potato sector.”
In addition to increasing productivity and having a better quality, this type of potato is said to ‘prevent losses in producing, which can decrease by 70% due to less viral infection, and also offer environmental benefits, as producers of the potato will need to use less agrochemicals.‘
Potato crops are susceptible to many diseases caused by viruses, bacteria, and fungi. This causes considerable losses for producers dedicated to the cultivation of potatoes. Thus, the development of varieties that are resistant to these diseases is no doubt in the interest of national and international communities.
For several decades, the Sidus group invested in a large amount of human, scientific and financial resources to promote this initiative. The PVY virus-resistant potato is an unprecedented case at an international level.
The company is proud that its scientists were able to create a transgenic plant that will impact the value chain to benefit not only producers, but also those at the very end of the chain – namely consumers.
“This process proves that there is a technology available beyond computing and the digital world,” says Argüelles. “This biological technology is a clear demonstration that we must, as a country, strive to achieve the successful development of still other new technologies in future.”
Source: Potato News Today