Submitted to: Phytopathology
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/16/2007
Publication Date: 7/1/2007
Citation: Whitworth, J.L., Novy R.G. 2007. Potato Breeding and certification in North America. Phytopathology 97:S153 (Abstract)
Technical Abstract: Virus resistance cultivars have been an objective of potato breeders since it was understood that ‘degeneration’ of seed was caused by virus-infection. Virus resistant cultivars are a component of an integrated pest management strategy. Insecticides, roguing, and seed certification have allowed the use of susceptible cultivars. Traditional breeding methods can take many years to produce resistant cultivars with acceptable agronomic characteristics. Transgenic methods can be used to more rapidly improve potato varieties, but consumer acceptance has limited their adoption. Intragenic modification may prove more acceptable to the consumer. Many resources are needed to screen for resistance and determine host symptomatology in new cultivars. New cultivars enter into a certified seed program to produce seed stocks for use by the commercial grower to produce a crop without a significant yield loss due to virus. Seed certification includes maintaining seed lot identity, field inspections, and winter grow-out of seed samples to identify late-season virus infections. Seed certification systems have evolved over the years as new diseases and new technologies have emerged. While the Canadian and United States certification systems are organized under different administrative models, their seed certification regulations are similar and based upon scientific principles.