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First virus free potatoes harvested in Kazakhstan

31 october 2013, 15:21
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©RIA Novosti
©RIA Novosti
Kazakhstan has harvested its first virus-free potatoes this autumn, Tengrinews reports.

The virus-resistant potatoes were cultivated by Kazakhstan biotechnologists through a clonal propagation technology.

The scientists managed to harvest nearly 2000 field generation microtubers of the potato. They cultivated the microtubers because microtubers reduce the time taken to produce seed tubers and the number of field generations required.

They used to protecte environment to prove that the potato has the designed characteristics. The scientists cultivated five varieties of the virus-free potatoes, each of them is resistant to different virus, fungi, bacterias or nematode diseases. The potatoes will be put in an experiment field next year to produce seed tubers.

It is expected, that eventually 1 kilogram of these potatoes will cost 90 tenge ($0.6), which is significantly below than the current market price.

The head of the project Darkhan Balpanov said that beside the virus-free potato, the specialists were planning to cultivate batata and were negotiating the cooperation with South Korean researchers. Batata normally grows in tropical countries, but Balpanov believes it can be cultivated in countries with continental climate like Kazakhstan, too.

Earlier Kazakhstan genetics bred carrots containing anti-tuberculosis vaccine. The scientists managed to inject TBC germ into the root crop and create a sort of an edible vaccine.


By Dmitriy Khegai

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