The potato (Solanum verrucosum) in transport, storage and storage can come under a lot of pressure. This can further lead to the cells near the surface being pressed up to the breaking point and being damaged. Processes carried out by enzymes will then take place which cause the potatoes to turn brown and may develop black spots. These blisters look unsavory and will usually be cut out before the potato is cooked. This is done by hand. The problem is that for the potato chips and French fries industry, this must be done mechanically in order to be able to maintain the high speeds in the production process. The best for them is a potato without a bruise, and an alternative could be a GMO potato without a gene for darkening. This does not mean that the potato is free of damage, it mostly means that the damage is no longer so visible.
Between 40 and 50 varieties of genetically modified potato have been registered. About. a third of these have been genetically modified to produce white potatoes, or potatoes without visible pressure damage. These potatoes are made through the use of bacteria (Agrobacterium tumefaciens) which biotechnological methods are used to put in genetically modified DNA. The bacterium, which is a plant pathogen, is then used to infect plant cells with this genetically modified DNA. The potato is genetically modified to reduce the production potential for acrylamide in fried potatoes. This is probably to reduce the risk of cancer from acrylamide in fried potatoes.
Small fragments of DNA have been inserted to form Asn1-dsRNA (Aspargine1 double stranded RNA) which will bind with Asn1-mRNA (Asparagine1 messenger RNA). This reduces the amount of free Asn1-Asparagine amino acids in the cells. A small fragment of DNA has also been inserted to form Ppo5-dsRNA which will bind with Ppo5-mRNA (Polyphenol oxidase5 messenger RNA) and prevent the normal production and function of the PPO enzyme (Polyphenol oxidase) in the cells. Furthermore, small segments of the PhL gene and R1 gene have been inserted. These are to prevent the production of monosaccharides such as glucose and fructose. This is to prevent the formation of a brown colour.
In all, at least four different functional genes are stopped from working by blocking the placement of essential amino acids to form the enzymes that these genes will code for. This leads to potato without brown color when it has been damaged. This is to reduce acrylamide formation when it is fried. Acrylamide in fried potato products is considered to be a carcinogen, based on studies in experimental animals given acrylamide in drinking water. It is unknown what this dsRNA can do to other organisms that get dsRNA into their diet, but dsRNA is used in some GMO plants to kill the pests that eat them.
Stopped PPO production increases the amount of toxins that accumulate in this genetically modified potato. Stopping PPO increases levels of alpha-aminoadipate, which is a neurotoxin, by six times. Levorotation alpha-aminoadipate will kill glial cells throughout the central nervous system. In cut, damaged, or bruised tissue in the potato, levels of tyramine, which is a toxin, can accumulate to high levels. In these genetically modified potatoes, what is damaged and bruised is almost invisible, so that the damaged areas are hidden so that much of the work of cutting out the damaged areas in GMO potatoes can be avoided by manufacturers of fried potato products. These potatoes may contain higher levels of other toxins that may contribute to the development of other types of changes that may lead to disease.
Chan SY, and JW Snow. 2017. Uptake and impact of natural diet-derived small RNA in invertebrates: Implications for ecology and agriculture. RNA Biology Vol. 14 No4, 402-414.