27 November 1998

GM way to busting potato dormancy

DORMANCY in potato seed could be controlled by genetically modifying the crop, says Ann Ferguson, Zenecas potato biotech manager.

"We can turn off sprouting by genetic modification and we can turn the sprouting gene back on again using ethanol vapour."

As well as providing inbuilt disease resistance, Ms Ferguson believes genetic modification will offer quality improvements like low fat absorption during frying, and reduced starch breakdown in store.

Environmental pressure on pesticide use will be a key force in winning public approval for GMOs, she forecasts. &#42