Beijing, July 16: A consortium of scientists led by the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) has finished sequencing the genetic code of the potato.
The six-year study carried out by the Potato Genome Sequencing Consortium (PGSC), comprising 97 experts from 14 nations, revealed that a potato contains about 39,000 genes.
Qu Dongyu, an expert with the Crop Science Society of China, said that the study helped discover genes responsible for insect resistance and growth of potatoes.
The sequencing will enable experts to create new varieties of potatoes that are high in yield, quality and more resistant to insects and diseases, Xinhua quoted Qu as saying.
Huang Sanwen, an expert with CAAS, added that it would also help accelerate the breeding process of new seeds from 12 years to about five years.
China is the world’s top potato grower, with nearly six million hectares of land under its plantation annually.