NewLeaf Plus Potato

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The NewLeaf Plus Potato is a genetically engineered potato that produces its own insecticide. The insecticide is the same chemical that is naturally produced by the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). It is also genetically engineered for resistance to Potato Leaf Roll Virus (PLRV). NewLeaf Plus potatoes are not sold commercially.

2000: Deregulation

On June 22, 1999, the USDA received a petition to deregulate a line of Russet Burbank "New Leaf Plus" genetically engineered potatoes (line RBMT22-82). The potatoes were genetically engineered for resistance to the Colorado Potato beetle (CPB) and Potato Leaf Roll Virus (PLRV). The new line of potato was similar to previously deregulated lines of New Leaf potatoes. On March 6, 2000, the USDA published a public notice of the petition in the Federal Register and solicited public comments. APHIS performed an Environmental Assessment under the National Environmental Policy Act and concluded a "Finding of no significant impact" (FONSI). The potato line was deregulated on July 17, 2000.

"Like the antecedant organism, potato line RBMT22-82 contains the cry3A gene derived from Bacillus thurigiensis subsp. tenebrionsis (Btt) and the orf1/orf2 gene derived from PLRV. The cry3A gene encodes an insecticidal protein that is effective against CPB and the orf1/orf2 gene imparts resistance to PLRV. Potato line RBMT22-82 also contains the CP4 EPSPS selectable marker gene, while the antecedent organism contained the nptII selectable marker gene. The subject potato line and the antecedent organism were developed through the use of the Agrobacterium tumefaciens transformation system, and expression of the added genes in RBMT22-82 and the antecedent organism is controlled in part by gene sequences derived from the plant pathogens figwort mosaic virus and A. tumefaciens."[1]


For more information, see the pages on Bt Crops and Genetically Modified Organisms.

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  1. Federal Register, Vol 65, No 116, July 13, 2000.

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