Significant limitations in potato production are crop loss due to the damage made by insect pests, and the cost of enormous amount of chemicals, harmful to humans and environment, extensively used in their control. As an alternative, development of genetically modified potato offered possibility for pest management in a more sustainable, environmentally friendly way. Over the past 30 years introduction of pest resistance traits progressed from a single gene to multiple stacked events and from Bt-toxin expression to expression of proteins from non-Bt sources, dsRNA and their combination, while advances in molecular biology have brought “cleaner” gene manipulation technologies. However, together with benefits any new technology also bears its risks, and there are still a range of unanswered questions and concerns about long-term impact of genetically modified crops – that with knowledge and precautionary approaches can be avoided or mitigated. Sustainability of genetically modified crops for pest control largely depends on the willingness to gain and implement such knowledge.
Part of the book: Solanum tuberosum