Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Aberdeen, Idaho » Small Grains and Potato Germplasm Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #296738

Research Project: Potato Genetic Improvement for Western U.S. Production

Location: Small Grains and Potato Germplasm Research

Title: Work of multiple organizations to improve seed potato health in U.S.A. and an example of change to reduce Potato virus Y in seed potato lots

Author
item Whitworth, Jonathan
item Nolte, Phillip - University Of Idaho

Submitted to: Potato and Sweetpotato in Africa
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/17/2013
Publication Date: 10/1/2015
Citation: Whitworth, J.L., Nolte, P. 2015. Work of multiple organizations to improve seed potato health in U.S.A. and an example of change to reduce Potato virus Y in seed potato lots. In: Low, J., Nyongesa, M., Quinn, S., Parker, M., editors. Potato and Sweetpotato in Africa: Transforming the Value Chains for Food and Nutrition Security. United Kingdom: CABI. p. 274-278.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Work of multiple organizations to improve seed potato health in U.S.A. and an example of change to reduce Potato virus Y in seed lots. In the United States, seed potato improvement starts with the individual seed potato grower. The seed grower also has resources that are available from university experts and from the organizations that certify the seed potatoes. Systems that exist for the production of seed potatoes have similar, but slightly different structures in individual states. The basic principles for producing quality seed potatoes are followed in each state. Each state is signatory to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the national regulatory agency (USDA-APHIS). This allows trade between states and between the U.S. and other countries. The MOU requires a quality manual to be developed for each certifying state. This quality manual is a procedural manual. An audit of each certifying agency is conducted to ensure compliance with the approved quality manual. The MOU is a recent document and serves to unify practices of multiple certification agencies. This allows for a set of minimum seed standards that helps to facilitate international trade. An example of how certification practices can change to improve seed health occurred in Idaho starting in 2007. At this time, an outbreak of PVY necrotic strains occurred in commercial fields planted with infected seed. Prior to this time, 95% of the varieties were visually inspected for PVY. The other 5% of varieties were serologically tested with ELISA because of latent symptom expression. This PVY outbreak led to a change of ELISA testing of all seed lots and all varieties. Over the next 4 years the number of seed lots with PVY was reduced by 10 percentage points. The change in the seed regulations was formulated by growers and university researchers and then approved by a grower advisory committee and finally a foundation seed stocks committee which consists of the certification agency and university scientists.