USAID Feed the Future Biotechnology Potato Partnership Project
The Feed the Future Biotechnology Potato Partnership is working to develop and bring to market a farmer-preferred three-gene (3R-gene) late blight resistant (LBR) potato variety in Indonesia and Bangladesh. The late blight resistant potato is expected to bring relief and improved health and livelihoods to smallholder farmers by reducing input costs, increasing yields and reducing the use of chemical fungicides. The partnership, led by MSU, consists of agreements between USAID, University of Minnesota, University of Idaho, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), Indonesian Center for Agricultural Biotechnology Genetic Resources Research and Development (ICABIOGRAD), International Potato Center, and private-sector partner J.R. Simplot Company (JRSC).
Highlights between July 2019 and December 2020 include:
- MSU testing of 10 selected events for each of two varieties of 3R-gene LBR potatoes developed using genetic engineering and screened from tens of thousands of transformations by JRSC.
- Import and regulatory permits received for confined field trials of the six best Diamant variety events and 10 Granola variety events in Indonesia.
- Diamant and Granola events imported to Indonesia for further research.
- Two confined field trials completed in Indonesia. Results indicate 3R-gene LBR events provide complete resistance to disease and higher yield output than non-transgenic controls.
- Import and regulatory permits for greenhouse trial of Diamant variety in Bangladesh.
- Consumer perception study on genetically modified organisms conducted in Indonesia.
- Study and results published on late blight pathogen strains in Indonesia. “Genotypic and phenotypic characterization of Phytophthora infestans populations on Java, Indonesia” - Plant Pathology.