Submitted to: Spudman
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 11, 2000
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: A number of benefits have been realized from the National Late Blight Potato Germplasm Evaluation Trials. First, a network of researchers is in place to conduct these studies yearly, and most of the organizational logistics have been established. Second, with the development of powerful statistical analyses by statisticians and software programs for these analyses by programmers, it is now possible to extract much more information out of studies such as this, especially in determining the importance of genotype x environment interactions. Third, potato breeders have information on clones with high levels of resistance to late blight for use in making crosses to generate new varieties with late blight resistance. Fourth, potato growers have information on the relative resistance or susceptibility to late blight of both old, established varieties and newer varieties. Fifth, breeders have information available on the relative resistance or susceptibility of advanced selections from their breeding programs prior to naming and releasing them as a new variety. This information will be useful to scientists, producers, extension service, and the potato industry.
Beginning in 1995, the USDA/ARS potato breeding program in Beltsville, MD, became the coordination site for the National Late Blight Potato Germplasm Evaluation Trials. The first field trials were held in eight locations in 1996: Hastings, FL; East Lansing, MI; Presque Isle, ME; Rosemount, MN; Prosper, ND; Freeville, NY; Rock Springs, PA; and Hancock, WI. In 1997, California was added to these original eight. These nine locations continue to be involved yearly in the testing and evaluation of advanced selections from public breeding programs, newly released potato varieties and the variety standards of the industry for their reaction to late blight, caused by Phytophthora infestans. This project is supported by funding lobbied through Congress by the National Potato Council and appropriated to the Agricultural Research Service.