According to Charles Choi, humans did not create the genetically modified sweet potatoes. He believes that the bacterial genes found in sweet potatoes are as a result of genes introduced by microbes. These transgenes offer attractive characteristics for domestication.
Initially, a sweet potato was a traditional domesticated crop found on the West side of South America and Mexico http://blog.pnas.org/2015/04/journal-club-cultivated-sweet-potatoes-were-genetically-modified-naturally/. However, it’s still a staple food crop in parts of Africa, Pacific Island, and Asia. These are the places where sweet potatoes circulated widely even before the Europeans could bring back meals to various regions of the continent. Despite the name sweet potato, this crop is different from the yam but closely related to a potato.
After doing an extensive research on sweet potatoes for viral material, Jan Kreuze, an established plant virologist in Lima, Peru school of International Potato Center, and his team discovered a genetic sequence from Agrobacteria. This genus bacterium transfers DNA into genomes of infected plants. Plant biotechnologists used this ability to create a hereditary modified plant.
It is quite difficult to understand or believe that the new found bacterial DNA is merely a bacterial infection by other plant samples. To clear things up, Kreuze, Lieve Gheysen, a potato molecular scientist and his group came up with the aid of study that explored the transfer of DNA sequences into detail. They collected 291 models of refined plants from Africa, Asia, Oceania, and America and analyzed them.
The results indicated the existence of a binary Agrobacterium T-DNA section in the genomes of genetically modified plants. The bacterium was only present in the cultivated crops, but not on the uninhabited ones. After analyzing the plant, the team came up with ten different genes in T-DNAs. These genes produced plant hormones that tamper with the plant cells sensitivity forming Auxins.
Auxins work to stimulate root growth. T-DNA facilitates growth and development resulting in the development of an entirely different sweet potato. A farmer can cultivate sweet potatoes using vegetative propagation method. This method is done by cutting the stem from its vines which develop roots to create new plants. Trying to figure out the role of T-DNA in the plant is not easy. However, there are some copies of these genes in refined sweet potatoes that require a farmer to remove.