[ASC-list] Free ANZAAS talk, Melbourne, Wed 19th September 6:30 pm “Potatoes for a Better World”

David Vaux D.Vaux at latrobe.edu.au
Mon Sep 10 21:52:39 UTC 2012

Free ANZAAS talk, Melbourne Wednesday 19th September, 6:30pm

All welcome, no booking needed.  Bring your friends!
At: Gene Technology Access Centre, 1H Royal Parade, Parkville
Free drinks and pizza after the talk

Mark Heap
BioSciences Manager,
Simplot Australia Pty. Ltd.

“Potatoes for a Better World”

The potato has come a long way since the Spanish carried the tubers to Europe from South America in 1565. It is now a staple food, globally. At 328 million tonnes, it is the fourth biggest crop feeding humanity, following maize (721), wheat (627), and rice (605). The ‘Humble Spud’ has already changed the world, but its journey has only just begun. It has the potential to make life better for hundreds of millions of malnourished people. Whilst the potato is best known as a source of carbohydrate (starch), it also contains a number of important vitamins and minerals. A medium potato provides 27 mg vitamin C, 620 mg of potassium, 0.2 mg B6, and trace amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, folate, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and zinc. Communities who obtain their energy from potatoes rarely suffer from malnutrition – a claim that cannot be made for diets based on rice, maize, or wheat.
Mark will discuss the changes needed to make the potato fit within Third World agricultural systems and tropical environments, and the technology applied by geneticists to shape its future.

Mark Heap originally trained as an Agricultural Scientist, and then obtained an MSc in Entomology. After a 6 year stint as a Research Entomologist, he began working on potatoes in 1987 and has never looked back. In 2000 Mark was fortunate to gain employment with Simplot Australia, a major food company, which has allowed him to travel the world seeking improved potato varieties and technology.

Once caught, potatoes can never be cured.

We are pleased to acknowledge the support by CSL and GTAC for the ANZAAS Melbourne science talks series
Further Info: David Vaux  davidlaurencevaux at gmail.com<mailto:davidlaurencevaux at gmail.com>  9345 2941


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