The gene of human obesity helped to grow a giant potato.
Humanity is growing, and if it wants to feed itself in the future, it cannot do without GMO crops. Scientists from the Smithsonian Institution decided to go a radical way and adopted the genes that are responsible for the accumulation of fat in the human body itself. They added these genes to the DNA of ordinary potatoes and unexpectedly got huge tubers.We are talking about the protein alpha-ketoglutarate-dependent dioxygenase, or FTO for short, which is encoded by the gene of the same name. The interesting thing is that plants do not have anything like this gene, so they do not know how to accumulate excess weight, as animals and humans do. The addition of a gene radically changes the situation, and scientists initially feared negative consequences due to the lack of control mechanisms for foreign genetic material in potatoes.
In practice, everything turned out exactly the opposite, and the GMO potatoes grown from the sample turned out to be healthy, tasty and at the same time at least 50 % more than standard tubers. The researchers admit that they do not fully understand what is happening, and this may just be a happy accident. Therefore, they are not in a hurry to rejoice and report on the creation of a supercard-there is still a lot of work to be done in this direction, and we will not see a giant miracle potato in the store soon.