Indian scientists develop high-protein potatoes

Scientists at the New Delhi-based National Institute of Plant Genome Research (NIPGR) have developed potatoes that have almost 60 per cent higher protein content compared to normal varieties.

The transgenic potatoes, developed through transfer of genes from the edible amaranth plant to seven commercial varieties of potatoes, look like regular potatoes but contain very high levels of protein (up to 60 per cent) and amino acids, the researchers claim.

The transgenic potatoes, which have undergone field trials in three different locations in the country over the past two years, have also been found to be high yielding.

The potatoes were also found to be having no negative effects on animal health, as per test results published in the journal `Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.' Published this week.

NIPGR scientists expect the new transgenic potato variety developed through transfer of genes of amaranth seed, a safe-to-eat crop, to be globally acceptable.

Since potato is a staple food for millions of people across the globe, introduction of the new class of protein-packed potatoes will offer improved health benefits, the scientists claim.