BASF Assumes Ownership of GMO Potato

April 27, 2011

BASF Plant Science (Limburgerhof, Germany) is taking the reins in a joint venture with potato starch manufacturer AVEBE (Foxhol, the Netherlands) to develop a genetically-modified potato called Modena.

BASF Plant Science (Limburgerhof, Germany) is taking the reins in a joint venture with potato starch manufacturer AVEBE (Foxhol, the Netherlands) to develop a genetically-modified potato called Modena. As of April 15, BASF has assumed ownership of Modena.

Modenais a genetically-modified amylopectin starch potato that is designed to cater to certain industrial applications. BASF states that, while conventional potatoes produce a mix of amylopectin and amylase starch, amylopectin alone is preferred in certain applications. Having the amylase gene “switched off” is of interest for savings in cost, resource, and energy.

The companies are currently seeking approval for Modena’s commercial use in Europe.

“Through the cooperation with BASF Plant Science, AVEBE will be able to enhance the commercialization of its plant biotechnology knowledge,” said Gerben Meursing, managing director of commerce at AVEBE. “The potential of the positive environmental impact during cultivation will be better accessible, with genetically enhanced varieties leading to higher yields per acre.”

Cooperation between BASF and AVEBE was first announced in December 2010 when the companies teamed up to develop an amylopectin starch potato that is resistant to late blight, a disease caused by the fungus Phytophthora infestans.