Elena Rakosy-Tican

Elena Rakosy-Tican

Babes-Bolyai University, Romania

Title: The application of combinatorial biotechnology to crop improvement: A case study on potato


Elena Rakosy-Tican is a Professor at Babe Bolyai University, Romania from 2008 in Plant Genetic Engineering Group, Faculty of biology and Geology, Babes-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca Romania. His area of expertise is plant genetic manipulation. She awarded her PhD in Biology / Genetics in Jan 1994 from Babe Bolyai University, Romania.


The new tools of plant biotechnology can bypass sexual incompatibility in order to improve plant resistance to biotic and abiotic stress. Today, when many plant genomes have been already sequenses and many molecular tools are available, combining more tools, or combinatorial bitechnology, towards a sustainable crop improvement becomes more feasible. Potato as a very important crop ranking third at global level in productivity is a good example for biotechnological improvement. The great majority of the wild relatives of the genus Solanum growing in Central and South America carry many genes of resistance but are sexually incompatible with the tetraploid potato crop. Examples on combining cell fusion technique with molecular assisted selection (MAS), genetic manipulation of DNA mismatch repair system (MMR), different bioassays to discriminate ways of resistance to Colorado potato beetle (CPB) such is repellence or toxicity, the involvement of natural resistance mechanisms through specific glycoalkaloids (leptines) or trichomes analysis are going to be presented for the combination potato + Solanum chacoense. Other examples will involve multiple resistance gene transfer to potato from the wild species S. cardiophyllum or S. tarnii. A particular case to be detailed is the fusion hybrids between potato varieties and S. bulbocastanum, where gene specific markers, resistance assessments in the laboratory and a field give very good results in the transfer of resistance to late blight, the most important disease of potato.