UK Scientists Seek to Start Disease-Resistant Potato Field Trials
Researchers at the Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, UK have submitted an application to the Department for Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) asking for consent to release genetically modified potatoes for trials work.
According to the documents submitted by the scientists, the potato plants have been genetically modified to improve different traits such as tuber quality, but also resistance to Phytophthora infestans, the organism which causes blight, and potato cyst nematodes (PCN).
If approved, the experimental plants will be released at two locations. The first is the Rothamsted Research center in Hertfordshire, where field trials are expected to start in June 2019. The second site is the NIAB trial site in Cambridge. The experiments are intended to continue until 2021, with plantings at the first and second locations from April 1 until November 30 in both years.