Authors: A. Gorji and Z. Polgar 1
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  • 1 University of Pannonia Potato Research Centre, Centre of Agricultural Sciences Keszthely Hungary
  • 2 Seed and Plant Improvement Institute (SPII) Karaj Iran
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Potato breeding programmes worldwide are undergoing a period of rapid change. In order to be successful, breeders must adapt and incorporate the newest up-to-date techniques as they become available. Recent advances in biotechnology make it possible to develop and cultivate more and more sophisticated transgenic crops with multiple modified traits. Gene transfer methods can be used for a wide range of fundamental studies, contributing to a better understanding of the mechanisms of plant/pathogen interactions and the metabolic pathways in plants. Transgenic potato plants are being generated worldwide to investigate the impact of transgene expression on parameters as complex as yield. Historically, potato was one of the first successfully transformed crop plants. Nowadays, transgenic potatoes have been introduced into the food chain of people and animals in several countries. Some of the genetic modifications give potato plants increased resistance to biotic and abiotic environmental factors, while others lead to improved nutritional value, or cause the plants to produce proteins of the immune system of humans or animals or substances that may be used as vaccines in humans or veterinary medicine. The trend today is towards the generation of crops with output traits, e.g. modified starch or carotenoids, or the production of pharmaceuticals in tubers, whereas the early targets were input traits, e.g. herbicide resistance, pest or virus resistance. This review provides a summary of examples illustrating the versatility and applicability of transgenic biology in potato improvement.

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