New Zealanders help dig up potato genome

This week the Potato Genome Sequencing Consortium published the genome of the humble potato in the international journal Nature.

The Consortium is a collection of academic and industrial research groups – including New Zealand’s Plant & Food Research –  which over the last 5 years has been working to unravel the DNA blueprint of the potato. In completing the genome, they pave the way for faster development of new breeds of potato. The knowledge of the potato’s genetic makeup will help to create new strains with better yields, resistance to disease and more nutritional benefits.

The international media have covered the announcement extensively, with outlets such as New Scientist, The Independent, CBS News, USA Today and BBC News reporting the story.

The publishing of the genome also received attention here in New Zealand:

National Radio: NZ scientists help crack genetic code of the potato

New Zealand Herald: NZ helps peel off potato’s genome

You can also read more about the research in this release from Plant & Food Research and watch their video explaining the Potato Genome Project (also available here).