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New GM potatoes resistant to blight

Headline news for GM this week was a new study on resistance to potato blight, the results of 3 yrs of field trials at the John Innes Centre in Norwich.

The paper in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B compared non-transgenic Desiree potato plants with GM plants. When blight conditions were severe in 2012, it dramatically reduced yields in the non-GM varieties. Tubers from each block of 16 GM plants weighed 6-13 kg while the non-GM tubers weighed 1.6-5 kg per block.

The GM variety was Desiree with a gene added from a wild South American relative.

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