"Data from our lab experiments shows that a combination of R-genes from wild potatoes have different levels of resistance to the disease, leading to crop immunity," said the lead scientist.
Dr Kigundu added that, with assistance from their Kenyan counterpart,
If approved, the late blight-resistant Irish potato will become the latest crop to undergo trials for the genetically engineered strains in
The trials will be conducted at
The National Biosafety Bill, which intends to introduce biotechnology seeds and allow commercial release of GM products from ongoing research into the markets, is before parliament.
Though some of the studies on GM crops have been completed, the crops cannot be released for commercial production.
Potato blight has rapidly progressed over the potato-growing areas of
The initial symptom of blight is a rapidly spreading, watery rot of leaves, which soon collapse, shrivel and turn brown.
In humid weather, a fine white fungal growth may be seen around the edge of the lesions on the underside of the leaves.
If unchecked, the disease reaches the tubers, which develop a reddish-brown decay below the skin, firm at first but soon developing into a soft rot as the tissues are invaded by bacteria. Early attacks of blight may not be visible on tubers but any infected tubers will rot in store.
READ: Moment of truth for EAC countries over GM products
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