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January 20, 2018

80 – Sweet Potato, Nature’s GMO

The sweet potato has special seasonal or fast-food application in the industrialized world, but in many parts of the world it is an important part of the daily diet.  The sweet potato is botanically distinct from the standard solanaceous potato, and stands to have additional application as a nutritious food for new populations.  Dr. Jan Kreuze is classically trained in plant virology and has practiced his craft in potatoes.  He is currently working at the Center for Potato Improvement (CIP) in Lima Peru, near the center of potato diversity.  He discusses what a sweet potato is, its natural diversity and some of its genetic oddities.  The podcast concludes with discussion of a natural horizontal gene transfer that could be the basis of domestication.

Dr. Kreuze’s PNAS paper is here.

Follow Dr. Jan Kreuze on Twitter-  @JanKreuze

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