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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Aberdeen, Idaho » Small Grains and Potato Germplasm Research » Research » Research Project #436455

Research Project: Breeding and Selecting Russet and Specialty Varieties with Improved Tuber Qualities, Disease and Pest Resistance, and Sustainability

Location: Small Grains and Potato Germplasm Research

Project Number: 2050-21000-035-022-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Apr 1, 2018
End Date: Mar 31, 2023

The development of new, superior russet varieties with enhanced traits relative to industry standard varieties such Russet Burbank, Ranger Russet, and Russet Norkotah is a primary objective of the joint potato breeding and variety devlopment program of the USDA-ARS, the University of Idaho and the Northwest (Tri-State) Potato Variety Development Program. While russets are emphasized, other market classes developed by the Aberdeen potato breeding program include specialties, chippers, and long whites for processing. Specialty potato varieties occupy a small, but increasingly important market niche. These potatoes have strong consumer appeal due to unique combinations of skin color, shape, culinary quality and nutrient content. Identifying specialty potatoes with good agronomic and culinary qualities will help provide new marketing opportunities.

Hybridizations will be made using appropriate germplasm, i.e., promising advanced selections, industry standards, and material with known genetic resistance to pests and pathogens and physiological disorders that result in economic losses to the Pacific Northwest (PNW) potato industry. Molecular biology techniques, such as marker-assisted selection, also will be used as a tool where appropriate to accelerate the development of potato varieties. Selection will be made for dual-purpose russets, single-purpose processors, early maturing russets for fresh pack, chipping varieties, and red-skin and yellow-flesh varieties for tablestock usage. All selection classes previously described will have U.S. No. 1 yields comparable or higher than current industry standards as well as one or more enhancements in general disease resistance, internal and external quality, and storage characteristics. Processing varieties for French fries and chipping varieties also will have enhanced cold-sweetening resistance and lowered acrylamide content in processed potato products relative to industry standards. Results of cooperative evaluations conducted by state and federal researchers and potato processors will be used to determine suitability of advanced selections for release as new potato varieties. Basic studies dealing with genetic aspects of disease and pest resistance, nutritional quality, and productivity will continue, as well as studies identifying management requirements of new varieties.