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February 14, 2010

Scientists Create GM Tomatoes with an Extended Shelf Life

In research study published recently  in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Journal (PNAS), scientists at the National Institute of Plant Genomic Research in New Delhi, India, unveiled a tomato which has been genetically modified to extend shelf life.  The Telegraph.co.uk reported that:

  “The fruits remained firm for 45 days, three times as long as normal tomatoes which start  to wilt after just 15 days”

 “As much as 40 per cent of harvested fruit can be wasted because it ripens too quickly,  the researchers from the National Institute of Plant Genomic Research in New Delhi,  India, estimate.”

The study’s abstract in PNAS, titled Enhancement of fruit shelf life by suppressing N-glycan processing enzymes, describes the basic method of creating the genetically modified tomatoes with an enhanced shelf life:

 “We have identified and targeted two ripening-specific N-glycoprotein modifying  enzymes, α-mannosidase (α-Man) and β-D-N-acetylhexosaminidase (β-Hex). We show  that their suppression enhances fruit shelf life, owing to the reduced rate of softening.   […]  Genetic manipulation of N-glycan processing can be of strategic importance to  enhance fruit shelf life, without any negative effect on phenotype, including yield.”

The Telegraph.co.uk goes on to further discuss the implication of this research:

 “[I]t could be years before the fruits, still in the experimental stages, are available  in  Britain, if ever.  The big supermarket chains, including Tesco, have a policy against  stocking GM foods on their shelves.  GM crops, which opponents have dubbed  ‘Frankenstein food’, can also be sold in Europe only if they have passed rigorous safety  tests and European law states that GM foods have to be clearly labelled, including when  they are sold loose.”

 Link to National Institute of Plant Genomic Research in New Delhi, India.

This post was prepared by William Mitchell College of Law student, Noelle Oas.  Ms. Oas is a student of Professor Donna M. Byrne.

February 14, 2010 in Biotech | Permalink

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“We have identified and targeted two ripening-specific N-glycoprotein modifying enzymes, α-mannosidase (α-Man) and β-D-N-acetylhexosaminidase (β-Hex). We show that their suppression enhances fruit shelf life, owing to the reduced rate of softening. […] Genetic manipulation of N-glycan processing can be of strategic importance to enhance fruit shelf life, without any negative effect on phenotype, including yield.”

Posted by: mrmrnrnrb | May 6, 2010 1:11:57 PM

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