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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Advanced Breeding Line Evaluation, Testing, and Hygienic Seed Multiplication of Potato for the Pacific Northwest

Location: Vegetable and Forage Crops Production Research

2012 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Identify improved potato cultivars with increased disease and pest resistance and quality attributes profitable and sustainable potato production.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Select in greenhouse and field, clones which display resistance to insect, nematode, and pathogen pressure and enhanced quality and nutritional qualities. Advanced Oregon potato selections will be grown at Hermiston Agric. Res & Ext Ctr fields continually cropped to potatoes and known to be highly infested with soilborne diseases including common scab, Verticillium wilt, and containing high populations of root knot nematodes. Ability to maintain high yield when exposed to PVX, PVY, and PLRV will be selected. Clones performing well will be retained and exposed to more rigid tests pending naming and release. Healthy planting stocks will be maintained by virus indexing and field rouging for all advanced breeding lines at the Klamath Falls Research Station.


3.Progress Report:

The USDA/ARS, Aberdeen and Prosser breeding & genetics programs provide 80-85% of True Potato Seed (TPS). Breeding efforts at Oregon State University complement and enhance the tri-state program by incorporating disease and pest resistances using multi-trait genotypic recurrent selection. As such, the primary objective of the Oregon Potato Variety Development Program is to develop superior varieties with high yield, improved processing characteristics, genetic resistance to various pests and diseases, resistance to abiotic stresses, and improved nutritive properties while maintaining a visually attractive appearance. Varieties that meet one or more of these objectives have the potential to benefit all segments of the Pacific Northwest (PNW) potato industry. Introgression of genetic resistance focused on viruses, late blight, tuberworm, and root-knot and stubby-root nematodes. With recent advances in molecular genetics, several resistant genes have been mapped and cloned. Molecular markers have been developed for major potato diseases and pests. We are now using molecular makers for PVY, PVX, late blight (Rb gene), Colombia root-knot nematodes, potato cyst & pale nematodes etc. We have started the pyramiding of several resistant genes in a single cross to accelerate the breeding efforts. USDA/ARS, Prosser station scientists helped our program by providing advanced germplasm resistant to major potato diseases & pests. The Oregon group conducted multiple field trials at four locations (Hermiston, Powell Butte, Corvallis and Klamath Falls). A total of 48,000 single hills were planted at Klamath Basin R&E Center (KBREC). Approximately 480 clones were retained at KBREC for further evaluation. In addition, disease/pest/abiotic stress resistance trials were performed at Corvallis (late blight), Hermiston (Verticillium wilt/early die, PVY, PLRV, and tuber worm), and Klamath Falls (root-knot nematode). Sage Russet has received considerable interest by PNW processors as a result of excellent performance in Tri-State and regional trials. Seed acreage totaled 8.5 acres in 2011 with stocks expected to exponentially rise in coming years. Commercial storage and large-scale processing trials are being evaluated by one or more PNW processors. Owyhee Russet has also generated interest by PNW processors and processing companies abroad. KBREC produced approximately 90 cwt. of certified nuclear class seed (PVMI contract) for distribution to regional seed producers in 2012. Likewise, seed stocks are expected to rise significantly in coming years. AO96305-3 and AO00057-2 are also garnering significant interest from regional processors. Several specialty-type selections have generated considerable interest in domestic and international markets – namely AmaRosa and Purple Fiesta (Purple Pelisse). POR02PG37-2 is planned for release in 2012 or 2013 and has the potential to replace a significant portion of Yukon Gold acreage throughout North America. Oregon continued extensive field trials for late blight resistance at Corvallis in 2011. Evaluated foliar and tuber late blight resistance of 367 potato clones in artificially inoculated trials in Corvallis. Two hundred seventy three early generation selections were evaluated in 12- and 4-hills plots. Fifty one advanced breeding selections and named 43 varieties from the National Late Blight Evaluation Program.

Impacts: Potato crop value remains significant to Oregon agriculture and overall economic health of the state. Oregon potato producers sold $141 million of potatoes in 2010, making them the state’s seventh largest crop and Oregon’s leading vegetable crop in terms of gross farm gate sales. When considering processing value, the statewide economic footprint of potatoes is likely to approach $300 million. Tri-State varieties play an important economic role in the PNW potato industry and have supplanted a significant portion of the Russet Burbank acreage in the PNW. Russet Burbank now comprises less than 50% of the total acres in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington combined. Nationally, Tri-State advanced selections and released varieties are produced on approximately 18,170 acres of certified seed. This total is slightly more than 16% of all domestic seed supplies and has the potential to support approximately 220,000 acres of commercial potatoes nationwide. Ranger Russet, Umatilla Russet, Alturas, and Classic Russet are the 5th, 6th, 11th, and 16th most widely planted varieties in the nation. Recently released varieties such as Owyhee Russet, Sage Russet, and Teton Russet are garnering significant interest among processed and fresh market sectors throughout the nation. It is anticipated that these and other newer Tri-State russet-type varieties will continue to supplant even larger acreages of Russet Burbank in the coming years. The Tri-State Variety Development Program is known and respected throughout the world as a leader in the development of superior potato varieties for multiple uses. The Potato Variety Management Institute, the marketing and regulatory arm of the program, has returned more than $500,000 dollars in royalty revenue back to the Tri-State program over the past three years. These funds will continue to play a larger role in supporting continued variety development efforts across the PNW as state and federal support continues to decline. This research falls under the primary objective of the related in-house project, "Determine the value of advanced potato germplasm with particular attention to disease, pest, and stress resistance, yield, quality characteristics, and profitability parameters".


Last Modified: 9/2/2014
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