1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
The SCA objective is to produce mini-tubers from true potato seed and tissue cultured plants. This agreement builds upon the prior agreement for mini-tuber production from early generation breeding lines with added focus on advanced breeding program selections. Potato breeding begins with the production of segregating populations from true (botanical) seed. Because of poor survival in the field, true seed are planted in the greenhouse and from these, mini-tubers are harvested. It is these mini-tubers that are planted in the field to begin the selection process. After 5 or more years of evaluation, advanced selections are taken through meristem culture to produce virus-free plantlets and these virus-free plantlets are planted in the greenhouse to once again produce mini-tubers, which are then turned over to certified seed growers to begin asexually increasing seed tubers for commercial production.
1b. Approach (from AD-416):
True seeds origination from hypernization performed by the Beltsville potato breeding program will be supplied to the University of Maine for minituber production.
3. Progress Report:
Approximately 15,000 seedling tubers were produced in support of the ARS Potato Breeding Program in Beltsville, MD. About 55% of these were diploid orange-flesh tubers. Another 32% were diploid yellow-flesh tubers. The remaining 13% were tetraploids with various tuber skin and flesh colors bred for specialty markets. This research provides the genetic material for each new cycle of the breeding program and for genetic studies. This research benefits potato breeders and growers by providing genetic materials from which new varieties will be selected.