Newly Released Handbook Lists More than 4,000 Potato PedigreesBy Tara Weaver
April 14, 1998
A new compilation of more than 4,000 pedigrees of North American and
European potato varieties is available for the first time for potato breeders
Agricultural Research Service
geneticist Kathleen G. Haynes collaborated with international scientists from
the Plant Breeding and Acclimatization Institute, Mlochów Research Center
in Poland; the Wageningen Agricultural University in the Netherlands; and the
Northern Ireland Horticultural and Plant Breeding Station in Loughgall, Ireland,
to compile the handbook.
According to the latest statistics from USDA's
Economic Research Service, the United
States produces nearly 48 billion pounds of potatoes a year, making it the
fourth- largest potato producer in the world. More than 620 billion pounds of
potatoes are produced throughout the world annually.
The handbook gives information on the origin of the potato variety, the year
of release, countries in which it is cultivated, both female and male parents
(as completely as possible) and the source or list of references. Also included
is information on unreleased ancestors of varieties cultivated at present.
The scientists compiled the information from potato breeders and
institutions preparing parental lines for potato breeding in the United States,
Europe and Russia.
In North America, the pedigree of potato varieties is computerized and is
also published in the American Potato Journal. European varieties, however, are
often released without publishing pedigree information. This makes it difficult
for potato breeders looking for certain traits, like blight resistance from a
line whose origins are unknown.
The handbook will be available in both English and Polish.
Scientific contact: Kathleen G. Haynes, USDA-ARS,
Beltsville, Md., phone (301) 504-7405, fax (301) 504-5555,