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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wapato, Washington » Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research » Research » Research Project #429869

Research Project: Developing Potatoes with Superior Disease Resistance, Performance, Phytonutrients and Management

Location: Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research

Project Number: 2092-21220-002-17-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 25, 2015
End Date: Sep 25, 2020

Potatoes with superior disease resistance, performance and optimal phytonutrient amounts, along with improved disease management strategies, are important needs of the potato industry to ensure sustainability, profitability and help provide food security for the nation. This project will focus on these needs in field and lab studies, using a combination of genetics, breeding, physiology, molecular biology, biochemistry, and plant pathology. This work will include 1) identifying biochemical, genetic and molecular mechanisms that contribute to biotic and abiotic stress resistance, nutrition and quality in potatoes; 2) developing information and methods that can be used to produce a superior, sustainable crop through more effective management and new cultivars; 3) Evaluation of field performance of advanced breeding lines and a nematode trap crop.

This project will address these objectives using field and lab studies, with methodology involving a combination of genetics, breeding, physiology, molecular biology, biochemistry and plant pathology. Metabolic and gene expression profiles of diverse germplasm, breeding lines and transgenic potatoes with altered phenylpropanoid metabolism will be used to characterize expression of compounds that are beneficial in the diet, that have roles in potato biotic or abiotic stress resistance or that affect tuber quality. This will include analysis of the regulation of phenylpropanoids, multifunctional compounds that contribute to pathogen/pest resistance, have health-promoting effects, influence flavor, and tuber physiology. Complimentary field studies will be used to evaluate tuber yield, tuber quality and processing quality and stress resistance in breeding lines using physiological and agronomic appoaches. Basic and applied knowledge will be gained about the emerging threat of the quarantine pest, Potato Cyst Nematode will be obtaining by using HPLC to purify the unknown factors secreted by potato roots that stimulate PCN eggs to hatch. Potential methods to obtain large amounts of hatching factors will be examined. Extracts will be purified using diverse column chemistries. The use of trap crops and hatching factors to control these pests will be explored. The potential effect of the PCN trap crop Solanum sisymbriifolium on other potato pests and pathogens will be assessed to see whether it provides concurrent control of other potato pathogens and pests.