2010 Annual Report
Seven non-commercial producers collaborated with UAF and ARS researchers in a sentinel potato study to grow five varieties of certified seed potatoes in communities around Alaska. During 2009, research sites were inspected for virus symptoms. None of the plants at any site exhibited virus symptoms. While no potatoes had aphids, 60 aphids were collected from nearby plants. The ARS entomology team identified the aphids as members of the Euceraphis (18%), Myzus (63%), and Macrosiphum (18%) genera. Five of the seven sites recorded yields (0.64-2.42lbs/plant) and sent sample tubers to the Matanuska Experiment Farm (MEF). One site was lost to an early frost and the other was lost to flooding. The sample tubers were stored at 40oF and planted in a greenhouse in March. As the potato foliage reached 12 inches, leaf samples were tested for the presence of the following viruses: PotLV, PLRV, PVA, PVX, and a suite of Potyvirus by a commercial laboratory (Agdia, Inc. in Elkhart, IN). Of the 342 sentinel tubers returned by the collaborators, 320 were assayed and the remaining 22 tubers either rotted or didn’t break dormancy within 60 days. All 320 samples tested negative for all virus assays, thus supporting the visual observations noted during the site inspection. The sentinel potato study is being repeated for 2010 with slight modifications. Three collaborators dropped out of the study and two new sites were added. All sites will follow the same protocol as the 2009 study.
A colored-flesh potato study was initiated in 2010. Replicated trials were established at six sites and demonstration plots were established at 12 additional sites to determine both the adaptability of the material and the consumer acceptance of the new material. All sites received the same four novel colored-flesh varieties which were developed and selected through the ongoing collaborative effort between ARS and UAF.
A continuation of a multi-year development of novelty varieties for the Alaska specialty potato market project is in multiple stages at the MEF. Approximately 2,100 single-hill accessions produced in 2010 along with the 10-hill, 50-hill material selected in 2009 are being grown in the 2010 season. A potato biomass study has been established at the MEF and the statewide network of potato collaborators will send the two largest potatoes from each variety. Analytic protocols are being developed to evaluate the biomass potentials of the varieties and to determine impacts of harvest dates and production locations on the extractable compounds. A multi-year, high latitude seed vigor study has begun during the 2010 growing season. Identical tissue culture minitubers are being grown in Alaska and Idaho. A sub-set of the resulting seed material will be planted at each location for a 2011 tablestock evaluation.