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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Aberdeen, Idaho » Small Grains and Potato Germplasm Research » Research » Research Project #444555

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: 2050-21000-036-009-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: May 1, 2022
End Date: Jun 30, 2024

Our goal is to produce cultivars for the potato industry that are economically and agronomically superior to long standing varieties like Russet Burbank through traditional breeding and in-field evaluations. 1) Develop early and late maturing russet potato varieties that benefit all facets of the potato industry including processing, fresh, and dehydration, specialty varieties with red, yellow, purple or multi-colored skin and/or flesh, and cold-sweetening resistant chippers. Characteristics of developed varieties would include improved input use efficiencies, higher yield, good storage characteristics, low incidence of physiological disorders (e.g., blackspot, internal necrosis, and hollow heart), and improved genetic resistance to major pests and pathogens that negatively impact the Northwest potato industry. Enhancing the nutritional value of potato varieties is also a priority with research projects currently being conducted to increase concentrations of Vitamin C, protein, and other phytonutrients in potato.

Hybridizations made by plant breeders within the Tri-State Potato Variety Development Program 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 potato industry such as PVY, corky ringspot, Zebra Chip disease, Potato mop-top virus, Dickeya, potato cyst nematode. 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 to, or higher than current industry standards, as well as one or more enhancements in general disease resistance, internal and external quality, and improved 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.