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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wapato, Washington » Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research » Research » Research Project #432670

Research Project: Developing New Potato Cultivars and Identifying Germplasm with Improved Performance

Location: Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research

Project Number: 2092-21220-002-016-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 25, 2017
End Date: Sep 24, 2022

New potato cultivars with improved disease resistance, performance, quality and optimal phytonutrient amounts, along with better disease-management strategies, are important to protect the sustainability and profitability of potato production and the jobs it provides. This project will focus on developing new cultivars with superior traits and providing knowledge that will facilitate cultivar development.

A combination of genetics, breeding, physiology, molecular biology, biochemistry and plant pathology will be deployed. Field trials will be conducted in Othello and Prosser, Washington and elsewhere as needed to evaluate breeding lines. Identifying resistance to soil-borne pests and pathogens, especially TRV and Columbia Root-Knot Nematode will be a major focus. Breeding lines and segregating progeny of crosses will be planted in fields with disease and pest pressure and evaluated for resistance. Potatoes will be harvested, cut into wedges and visually scored for internal discoloration. PCR and ELISA will be used for identification and quantification. Resistance will also be tested in greenhouse pot studies using manually inoculated plants. Metabolic and gene expression profiles of primitive germplasm, breeding lines and transgenic potatoes with altered 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. Potatoes will be processed and freeze-dried. Homogenized powder will be extracted and analyzed for phytonutrients. Analysis and identification of factors that regulation phenylpropanoid expression will be assessed using molecular and biochemical approaches. The effect of storage on potato appearance, especially on skin color or red potatoes will be analyzed by measuring metabolites using LCMS and gene expression in tubers at harvest and after multiple time points spanning several months after harvest. The cause of emerging potato diseases will be identified using molecular diagnostic approaches bases on real-time PCR and nested PCR.