Let’s face it. With its dull brown colour, little holes, dents and imperfections, the potato is one nature’s least aesthetically pleasing foods. Right? Maybe not for long: American scientists have managed to create a new species of potato that incorportates the genetic resistance to larvas – most notably the so-called Elateridi, a family of insects that commonly infects tubers, rendering the surface uneven and unattractive.
Researchers have crossed the genetic codes of wild potatoes (which are much more resistant to parasites than their more “cultivated” cousins), with a planted variety, and then chose the fifteen most productive plants from those that were “born” in the lab.
The next step was to plant the cloned potatoes into larva-infested soil and compare the damages to the lab-grown potatoes with the normal ones, which had simply been sprayed with pesticide. The result? The “cloned” potatoes fared much better. So American potato lovers? Stay on the look out for these “super potatoes”, pretty to look at, and delicious to eat.
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