Genetically improved potatoes: protection from damage by Colorado potato beetles


Russet Burbank potato plants have been genetically improved to resist insect attack and damage by Colorado potato beetles (Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say)) by the insertion of a cryIIIA gene encoding the insect control protein of Bacillus thuringiensis var. tenebrionis. A modified gene that dramatically improved plant expression of this protein was utilized. Its expression in Russet Burbank potato plants resulted in protection from damage by all insect stages in the laboratory and in dramatic levels of protection at multiple field locations. Analysis of these genetically modified potatoes indicated that they conform to the standards for Russet Burbank potatoes in terms of agronomic and quality characteristics including taste.

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Perlak, F.J., Stone, T.B., Muskopf, Y.M. et al. Genetically improved potatoes: protection from damage by Colorado potato beetles. Plant Mol Biol 22, 313–321 (1993).

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Key words

  • Bacillus thuringiensis var. tenebrionis
  • Colorado potato beetle
  • insect control
  • integrated pest management
  • transgenic plants