Feeds

Sweaties decode ultimate mystery of chips

Development cycle for new types expected to halve

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Scottish boffins have decoded the full genome for the humble potato, opening the door for a new world of Scottish cuisine.

The discovery could slash the time taken to breed new types of potato, if they can just get genetically modified crop-planting made legal. However, the information obtained could also be used to aid selective breeding, which would not fall foul of the ban on GM crops.

Professor Iain Gordon, chief executive of The James Hutton Institute, said: "This achievement is an exciting day for us and the result of many years of hard work by our team in Dundee.

"Potato is one of the top staple foods in the world and the most important non-grain crop for human consumption, particularly in developing countries, which now account for more than half of the global harvest."

Scientists from Imperial College London, the James Hutton Institute and the University of Dundee took around eight years to crack the full genome. They were helped by researchers in 14 countries. The solution should almost halve the current time frame of 10 to 12 years required to breed new varieties.

There are potentially ways to use the genome information without falling foul of the European-wide ban on growing GM crops.

The rest of the world is not so picky – in the US, genetically modified seeds that are resistant to herbicides dominate the market. Altogether 94 per cent of soybeans and 65 per cent of corn in the US are grown from GM seed.

The difficulty with spud genes is that they inherit four sets of genomes, two from each parent, rather than just one from each parent as people do.

The Potato Council hopes the discovery will also increase interest in the World Potato Congress, which takes place between 27 and 30 May 2012.

Click here for the Hutton Institute statement, or you can visit the Potato Genome Sequencing Consortium here. ®

Bootnote

Just in case you were wondering about the headline, it's rhyming slang. Sweaty sock = jock.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
ANU boffins demo 'tractor beam' in water
The current state of the art, apparently
China to test recoverable moon orbiter
I'll have some rocks and a moon cheese pizza please, home delivery
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Vulture 2 spaceplane autopilot brain surgery a total success
LOHAN slips into some sexy bespoke mission parameters
Another step forward for diamond-based quantum computers
Square cut or pear-shaped, these qubits don't lose their shape
LOHAN acquires aircraft arboreal avoidance algorithm acronyms
Is that an ARMADILLO in your PANTS or are you just pleased to see me?
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.