New potato varieties with stacked genes in them are showing resistance to Colorado potato beetles (CPB), a study by scientists at Nigde Omer Halisdemir University in Turkey says. The findings were published in Plant Biotechnology Reports.
CPBs are a major pest threat for potatoes, with CPBs having developed insecticide resistance making them hard to control.
Scientists at Nigde Omer Halisdemir University were able to stack a combination of the Bt gene, (cry3A), synthetic hybrid (SN-19), and the plant proteinase inhibitor Oryza cystatin II (OCII). They then put these stacked genes into two potato cultivars through Agrobacterium-mediated transformation, a news release about the study explains.
The new potato varieties showed high resistance to CPBs with 100 per cent mortality of all insects in larval and adult stages. There was a delay in the mortality of adult insects compared to those in larval stages noticed, the release says. Leaf damage was also found to be lessened in the transgenic plants compared to the control.
The study results show that stacking of genes in potato plants can potentially control CPB infestations.