Genetic engineering of potato starch opens doors to industrial uses

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Researchers use CRISPR technology to modify starches

TEXAS A&M AgriLife scientists are learning how to alter the ratio of potatoes’ two starch molecules – amylose and amylopectin – to increase both culinary and industrial applications.

Waxy potatoes, which are high in amylopectin content, have applications in the production of bioplastics, food additives, adhesives and alcohol.

Two articles recently published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences and the Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture journals outline how CRISPR technology can advance the uses of the world’s largest vegetable crop.

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Both papers include the work done by Stephany Toinga, Ph.D., who was a graduate student in the lab of Keerti Rathore, Ph.D., AgriLife Research plant biotechnologist in the Texas A&M Institute for Plant Genomics and Biotechnology and Department of Soil and Crop Sciences. Also co-authoring both papers was Isabel Vales, Ph.D., an AgriLife Research potato breeder in the Texas A&M Department of Horticultural Sciences. Toinga is now a Texas A&M AgriLife Research postdoctoral associate with Vales.

Source: Agrilife  Photo: Texas A&M AgriLife

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