Scientists map potato genome
For the first time, scientists have decoded the full DNA sequence of the potato plant. Details of the achievement are published in the journal, Nature. The discovery could help to boost food production.
Reporter: Jon Ironmonger
The humble potato is in fact the world's fourth largest food crop, with a global annual yield of around 330 million tonnes.
In an international project lasting several years, researchers have successfully recorded its complete chemical blueprint, deciphering and organising hundreds of millions of pieces of genetic coding.
By mapping the plant's genome scientists can locate the genes that control various traits, like colour, starchiness and flavour, leading to the creation of improved varieties at a much quicker pace.
Professor Iain Gordon from the James Hutton Institute in Dundee, which headed the British team, said the genome sequence would allow breeders to develop new types that are more nutritious, resistant to pests and diseases and easier to cultivate.
He said the breakthrough could help to meet the challenge of feeding the world's soaring population.
Jon Ironmonger, BBC News
a global annual yield
una producción anual global
cantidad de almidón
criadores (cultivadores, en este caso)