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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Vegetable Crops Research

2011 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
Objective 1: Acquire, conserve and distribute worldwide a broad diversity of potato genetic resources and associated information. Sub-objective 1.A. Strategically expand genebank holdings of potato cultivars, genetic stocks for anti-oxidants, tomatine glycoalkaloids, pigment and floral mutants, and wild relatives of potato from the southwestern United States. Sub-objective 1.B. Conserve more than 5,600 accessions of potato and its wild relatives by regenerating annually 100 seed populations, 900 in vitro clones, and 70 tuber families of potato and its wild relatives. Sub-objective 1.C. Distribute on request potato genetic resources and information that meet the specific needs of researchers and breeders, each year updating Web page and notices transmitted to e-mail list of cooperators. Objective 2: Strategically incorporate high-quality, comprehensive, priority phenotypic (evaluation) data for potato genetic resources into GRIN and/or other databases. Sub-objective 2.A. Incorporate into GRIN and/or other databases phenotypic (evaluation) data from cooperator’s (D. Spooner) literature review and other evaluation data which subsequently become available from published and unpublished sources. Sub-objective 2.B. Incorporate phenotypic (evaluation) data from “in-house” studies of vigor; late blight resistance; gibberellin mutants; and tuber anti-oxidants, acidity, calcium, potassium, and anti-cancer PCI into GRIN and/or other databases.

1b. Approach (from AD-416)
Access new germplasm as donations from other genebanks/programs, mutants selected in house, collection trips in the southwest USA. Propagation status and health will be monitored with a computer database. Botanical seed accessions will be propagated in virus-free green- and screenhouses. All new acquisitions will be quarantined until proven clean. Seed moisture and storage temperatures will be maintained at known optima, with confirming germination tests on each accession at least every five years. We will grow and intermate 20 parent plants of each seed increase accession to replenish inventory and/or germination. Germplasm orders and requests for information will be processed within one week of receipt. Engage in outreach activities to professional meetings and use webpage to assess distribution effectiveness. Identify pertinent publications, sift for evaluation data, and incorporate into GRIN. Summarize and format data from in house characterization projects. Publish results of novel evaluation studies in peer reviewed journals and present as talks or posters at professional society meetings as appropriate. Finally, advertise availabiilty to germplasm user group.

3. Progress Report
Availability of potato germplasm is important to the progress of basic research and breeding. In 2011, the genebank at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin in cooperation with worldwide collaborators, continued filling this need by collecting and distributing (free of charge), viable and disease free stocks to all those who requested it, and evaluating and documenting valuable traits: Genebank staff collected in the Santa Rita mountains in southeastern Arizona, sampling 22 new Solanum fendleri sites. We imported 17 new populations of Solanum microdontum, a species from Argentina shown to have very high levels of various disease resistance and nutritional traits. We multiplied 235 wild seed populations, performed 600 virus tests, 1450 germination tests, 106 ploidy determinations, and 30 tetrazolium seed viability tests. We continued more efficient screening by designing multiple uses for a single array of samples. Hundreds of samples of field tubers were again generated for screening for the appetite suppressant PI2, starch type, folate and thiamine, antioxidants and tomatine for anti-cancer, potassium, pH, and calcium in cooperation with various USA cooperators. Peruvian highland farmers also tested and continued to select hybrids we made for frost hardiness and higher yield when fertilized with calcium. We exported the extremely high antioxidant potato we discovered to Peru for growing and testing there. Over 8,000 units of germplasm were sent in 201 orders to clients in 21 states of the USA and in 20 orders to 12 other countries.

4. Accomplishments
1. New potato nutritional information. Diverse stocks kept at the US Potato Genebank, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, hold promise for improving nutritional value of potato. In FY 2011, screening of such stocks by ARS researchers at Sturgeon Bay, found unique individuals in a wild species exhibiting more than double the previously-known level of a safe and natural appetite suppressant that could be very helpful in combating obesity. These stocks are being used in breeding to transfer the trait into the background of a practical new cultivar.

Last Modified: 06/23/2017
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