Tech UPTechnologyPotato genome sequenced

Potato genome sequenced

An international consortium of scientists has sequenced the potato genome, which, according to the journal Nature , has 12 chromosomes and more than 39,000 genes, that is, almost twice as many as humans . The advance opens the way to the creation of new varieties, more fertile and nutritious, of one of the most important crops in the world, which began to be cultivated and consumed about 8,000 years ago and was introduced in Europe by the Spanish conquerors in the 16th century.

Potato ( Solanum tuberosum ) is the third most important staple food after wheat and rice. So much so, each year 200 million tons of potatoes are consumed in the world. Historically it has been difficult for farmers and geneticists to work with as it is a tetraploid , which means that each cell contains four copies of each chromosome, unlike human cells, which have two copies per cell. That explains why at this point it is still susceptible to many epidemics and diseases . Knowing your genome will help you deal with these problems. Jiming Jiang, co-author of the study who also participated in the sequencing of the genomes of rice, corn and papaya, has announced that he will now dedicate himself to locating the genes that affect the quality of potatoes , in order to develop better varieties of the potato. tuber.

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