New GM potato field trials
Velhartice - At the end of December 2005 Vesa a.s. and the Institute of Experimental Botany of the Czech Academy of Science, Prague, announced the planned release into the environment of genetically modified potatoes with increased sugar content in tubers.
Proposed release period will be from April 2006 to September 2010 on a less than one-ha site in the Plzensky region. The purpose of the release is, to compile data on agronomical performance, as well as to collect plant material for sugar content analysis, and to generate seed tubers.
Plasmid DNA with the trait for increased metabolism of reducing sugars in tubers was introduced into the potato lines by Agrobacterium-mediated gene transfer technology - a standard technology for potato transformation.
The nptII gene (kanamycin tolerance) was introduced as selectable marker gene to identify transgenic cells in tissue culture.
There have been previous releases of potato lines transformed with the same constructs in the Czech Republic. No adverse impacts on the environment or human health have been recorded in any of the trials.