Kenya Reports Transgenic Failure

Published online: Feb 25, 2004
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Kenya agriculture officials report that trials to develop a virus-resistant sweet potato using transgenic potato obtained from Monsanto has failed.

The modified potato was introduced in 2001 but a report by the Kari Biotechnology Center said the technology did not produce a virus-resistant strain.

Monsanto developed a coat protein responsible for virus resistance and donated it to Kari, royalty free, to use in its sweet potato improvement program.

Francis Nang'ayo and Ben Odhiambo said there was no demonstrated advantage from using the genetic transformation from the initial gene construct. The material did not withstand virus challenges in the field, they reported.