Genetic Engineering for Enhanced Nutritional Quality in Potato
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Keywords:genetic engineering, starch, health compounds, vitamins, glycoalkaloids
Avowed from the reports of FAO, WFP and IFAD, undernourishment alongside vitamin and mineral deficiencies in human diet is the main cause of concern and solely responsible for the deaths of more than 2.5 million children each year. Moreover the world population burgeoning at high pace and is expected to reach nine billion by 2050, problems of malnutrition are expected to worsen with the time. Potato is the most important non-grain food crop in the world, ranking 3rd in terms of total production after rice and wheat. One third of potato production takes place in developing countries, and over one billion people have potato as their staple diet, emerging its importance as a staple food source in developing countries of Asia and Africa. Potato, a vegetatively propagated, auto-tetraploid, highly heterozygous, complex genome with limited reproductive fertility, sensitivity to inbreeding depression poses constraints and a challenging endeavour in making improvements through conventional breeding. In recent past, with the advent of genetic engineering efforts are made to improve the nutritional status of potato with limited success. The review discusses the progress made, challenges faced and lessons learned from the past studies and projects the future agenda to be set for making head way in developing potato as â€˜complete foodâ€™ to address the world problem of malnutrition and hunger with the apt use of modern biotechnological tools.Â Â Â
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