Wed. Jun 19th, 2024
Scientists in Peru develop a disaster-resistant potato named “Matilde”

In recent years, the disease known as “late blight” has been a growing concern in the higher regions of the Peruvian Andes. Warmer and wetter weather conditions have enabled the spread of this fungus-like pathogen, which quickly kills potato plants and renders them inedible. To combat this issue, scientists at the International Potato Center (CIP), located in Peru, have been working diligently to develop potato varieties that can withstand late blight without the need for fungicides. Their efforts have resulted in the creation of a new variety called CIP-Matilde, which is resistant to late blight.

The research carried out by CIP in collaboration with the Crop Trust focuses on developing crop varieties that not only resist diseases but can also withstand environmental stressors such as drought and salinity. By crossing wild and cultivated plants, scientists have created crop varieties with enhanced resilience to environmental challenges. The Crop Trust’s Biodiversity for Opportunities, Livelihoods, and Development (Bold) project involves various partners, including community seed banks and national breeding programs, to promote crop diversity and resilience. This project engages farmers in the selection process of preferred crop traits through participatory approaches, allowing for a more inclusive decision-making process that considers various farmer preferences and needs.

While traditional breeding methods have been crucial in developing resilient crop varieties, newer technologies like gene editing offer a more precise and accelerated approach to enhancing crop resilience. The Institute for Genomic Innovation (IGI) is at the forefront of utilizing gene editing tools like Crispr-Cas9 to develop crop varieties that are resistant to diseases and drought. Projects focused on enhancing crop resilience to climate change effects are vital for ensuring food security in uncertain environmental conditions. Companies like Inari are pushing the boundaries of gene editing technology by aiming to improve crop performance and resilience through multigene editing and AI-assisted design.

As climate change continues to influence agricultural practices, prioritizing crop diversity and resilience becomes increasingly important for sustainable food production. Ensuring that farmers have access to affordable and resilient crop varieties is essential for food security’s future generations. However, challenges related to seed ownership and affordability must be addressed to empower farmers and promote a diverse and resilient food system.

In conclusion, developing resilient crops that can withstand diseases and environmental stressors is crucial for sustainable food production in today’s changing climate conditions. Scientists at CIP have been leading efforts in creating new potato varieties like CIP-Matilde that are resistant to late blight without needing fungicides. The collaborative work between CIP

By Aiden Nguyen

As a content writer at, I delve into the realms of storytelling with the power of words. With a knack for research and a passion for crafting compelling narratives, I strive to bring forth engaging and informative articles for our readers. From decoding complex concepts to unraveling current events, I aim to captivate and educate through the art of writing. Join me on this journey as we explore the ever-evolving landscape of news and knowledge together.

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