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Sweet potato (Batata, yam)



Research Herbicide tolerance, virus and fungal resistance
Field trials USA 16, Kenia
Approval None
Perspectives No commercial utilisation of GM sweet potatoes is anticipated at present.



Sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas), also known as batata, are mainly grown in tropical and subtropical regions, and regions with warm-moderate climates. The main producing lands are China, Uganda, Nigeria, Indonesia, Vietnam and Japan. In Europe they are cultivated in Italy, Spain and Greece among other countries. In 2005, the worldwide harvest was almost 130 million tons.



Sweet potatoes are a main source of food in many tropical countries.

  • They are prepared like potatoes but are also processed to flour, starch, and alcoholic drinks (West Indies, Latin America).
  • In African countries, the leaves are also used as a vegetable, similar to spinach.


  • the tubers and leaves serve as animal feed

Energy crops and renewable primary products:

  • this starch containing plant is used in the production of biofuels (bioethanol). Some Bioethanol installations in China are feed primarily on sweet potatoes.
  • for production of bioplastics


Gene technology: aims of research and development

Agronomic traits

Weed control

Resistance against pathogens

Resistance against pests

  • Insect resistance

Adaptation to climate and location factors

  • Tolerance to drought

Quality traits

Enrichment with health-promoting ingredients, such as:

  • amino acids: to compensate for deficiencies in certain essential amino acids occurring in the predominant feed and foodstuffs in some regions.


Field trials with GM sweet potatoes

USA 16
Period 1989-2010
Traits Herbicide tolerance, virus and fungal resistance, modified product characteristics
Weitere Länder Kenia


 GMO Database
GM Food and Feed: Authorization in the EU
GMO Database: Contains information on every GM plant that has been approved or is awaiting authorisation in the EU.
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