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Potato improvement through genetic engineering
GM Crops & Food  (IF3.074),  Pub Date : 2022-01-06, DOI: 10.1080/21645698.2021.1993688
María del Mar Martínez-Prada, Shaun J Curtin, Juan J Gutiérrez-González


Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is the third most important crop worldwide and a staple food for many people worldwide. Genetically, it poses many challenges for traditional breeding due to its autotetraploid nature and its tendency toward inbreeding depression. Breeding programs have focused on productivity, nutritional quality, and disease resistance. Some of these traits exist in wild potato relatives but their introgression into elite cultivars can take many years and, for traits such as pest resistance, their effect is often short-lasting. These problems can be addressed by genetic modification (GM) or gene editing (GE) and open a wide horizon for potato crop improvement. Current genetically modified and gene edited varieties include those with Colorado potato beetle and late blight resistance, reduction in acrylamide, and modified starch content. RNAi hairpin technology can be used to silence the haplo-alleles of multiple genes simultaneously, whereas optimization of newer gene editing technologies such as base and prime editing will facilitate the routine generation of advanced edits across the genome. These technologies will likely gain further relevance as increased target specificity and decreased off-target effects are demonstrated. In this Review, we discuss recent work related to these technologies in potato improvement.