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Transgenic Potato Has Significantly Higher Protein And Amino Acid Levels

September 20, 2010: 09:14 PM EST

Indian researchers have developed a transgenic potato much richer in protein and amino acids than conventional varieties. The novel potato incorporates a gene (amaranth albumin) from an edible crop known as amaranth. The new potato variety has between 35 and 60 percent more protein than a conventional potato and higher levels of amino acids, especially lysine, tyrosine and sulfur. Conventional potatoes have only limited amounts of these amino acids. A tall, broadleaf  plant that generates small seeds, amaranth was a staple of the Aztecs and earlier American cultures. U.S. farmers began cultivating the plant in the late 1970s. “It is apparent that this can add value to potato-based products with enhanced benefits for better human health," the scientists wrote.

Tan Ee Lyn and Chris Lewis, "Researchers develop protein-packed potato in India", Reuters, September 20, 2010, © Thomson Reuters
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