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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Potato Genetic Resource Management, Characterization, and Evaluation

Location: Vegetable Crops Research Unit

Title: Improving potato germplasm collecting technology

item Bamberg, John
item Del Rio, Alfonso -
item Fernandez, Charles -

Submitted to: American Journal of Potato Research
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: April 18, 2014
Publication Date: July 27, 2014
Citation: Bamberg, J., del Rio, A., Fernandez, C. 2014. Improving potato germplasm collecting technology. American Journal of Potato Research. Paper No. G35.

Technical Abstract: There is ample advice about the best way to sample genetic diversity in a wild population. But the practical limitation is often the fact that sufficient collectable propagules are not available. In the case of potato collecting in the USA, this limitation is manifest in at least three important ways, even when the collector is fortunate enough to find the rare plants. First, collectable tubers and seeds may not be present, and plants may be too stressed or old to make transplanting into soil a strategy likely to be successful. Second, in some locations, seed-eating insects have infested nearly all available fruit. Third, in some cases, large populations without fruit or tubers cannot be adequately represented in a few collected individual clones. We developed technology to address these problems. An in vitro collection technique for the field was developed that roots and rejuvenates old shoots, using antibiotic medium that requires no sterile hood. A field insecticide treatment was developed that effectively kills fruit grubs in S. fendleri without harming seed development and germination. We collected pollen from a large in situ population of S. jamesii, and kept it viable until it could be used to successfully pollinate surrogate mothers growing at the genebank. We anticipate that these techniques will increase the quantity and quality of germplasm collection from the wild, providing a greater return on the investment of time and funds spent on expeditions.

Last Modified: 8/24/2016
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