The first genetically modified potato in Argentina was publicly displayed this week. Named "Papa Spunta Ticar," the transgenic potato is resistant to the PVY (Potato Virus Y), a project that has been in development since 1999, in conjunction with INGEBI-CONICET (Institute for Research in Genetic Engineering and Molecular Biology), and was recently approved by the Argentine regulatory authorities. Next year production will begin and it is expected that by 2020 the first transgenic fresh potatoes will appear in the Argentine market.
"Papa Spunta Ticar means for us the culmination of a long-standing process to develop the country's first plant biotechnology event. We arrived early, and that means continuing to work on providing solutions for the industry, said the president of the Sidus Group, Marcelo Argüelles, during the gathering, held in Buenos Aires, along with public authorities, scientists, producers, businessmen and leaders of agroindustry.
"These processes show us that technology exists beyond computing and the digital world. The biological is a clear demonstration that we must bet, as a country, on the development of other technologies", noted Argüelles.
Tecnoplant, a company of the Sidus Group, has modified the genetic code of potatoes to resist the PVY virus, in a process similar to those used to produce vaccines in the case of humans or animals - activating the immune system to defend against a specific pathogen. According to the company, this technology will provide a nearly 10% reduction in the production costs of potatoes for fresh consumption, as well as less use of agrochemicals, especially insecticides, and the consequent reduction of its environmental impact