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Title: In vitro technology at the US Potato Genebank

item Bamberg, John
item MARTIN, MAX - University Of Wisconsin
item ABAD, J - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
item Jenderek, Maria
item Tanner, Justin
item DONNELLY, D - McGill University - Canada
item NASSAR, AM - Damanhour University
item VEILLEUX, R - Virginia Polytechnic Institution & State University
item Novy, Richard - Rich

Submitted to: In Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology - Plants
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2015
Publication Date: 3/8/2016
Publication URL:
Citation: Bamberg, J.B., Martin, M.W., Abad, J., Jenderek, M.M., Tanner, J., Donnelly, D.J., Nassar, AM.K., Veilleux, R.E., Novy, R.G. 2016. In vitro technology at the US Potato Genebank. In Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology - Plants. 52(3):213-225. doi: 10.1007/s11627-016-9753-x.

Interpretive Summary: Potato (Solanum tuberosum) is the most important vegetable crop in the US and world, and has a rich resource of about 100 wild relative species that can be used for breeding and research to improve the crop. Our national genebank responsible for keeping this resource is the US Potato Geneabank, near Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. Acquiring, preserving, distributing and studying the germplasm is facilitated in several important ways by growing plants or organs in sterile conditions on artificial medium in glass containers-- i.e., in vitro. In this paper we review an array of techniques shown to be effective to accomplish the genebank service, and the goals of other researchers who study and use these plants. Many of these applications depend on the advantage that plants in individual test tubers are very secure against exchanging diseases, and that delicate individual tissues can be nursed into development in ways not possible in the greenhouse. In the USA, potato adds $4.3B annually to the farm economy, and its popularity as a food gives it high nutritional impact for consumers. Potato's high productivity and ability to grow in many climates makes it one of our best resources for feeding an increasingly hungry world. Thus maximizing techniques such as in vitro culture can contribute to potato progress resulting in a positive impact on worldwide economy and health.

Technical Abstract: The US Potato Genebank at Sturgeon Bay, WI, is the active national germplasm collection for the world's most important vegetable crop. It contains about 6,000 accessions of 100 species of tuber-bearing relatives of Solanum tuberosum. The potato of commerce is a clonal crop susceptible to many systemic pathogens, so the genebank routinely uses in vitro clonal maintenance and distribution for named cultivars. In vitro management is also the tool of choice for various breeding and genetic stocks of interest to breeders and researchers. Long-term backup cryo-preservation of clones is done at the base collection at Ft. Collins, CO. In vitro techniques also play an important role in virus elimination of clones. We have recently expanded in vitro propagation to the temporary safekeeping of meristem propagules in antimicrobial medium during collecting expeditions in the wild in the southwest USA. The genebank mission includes promoting technology that supports expanded use of the germplasm, particularly finding ways to overcome interspecific hybridization barriers. Thus, in vitro techniques like pollen viability testing, ploidy manipulation, protoplast fusion, and embryo rescue have contributed to major advances. Finally, advancing in vitro technology holds promise as a new tool for mass bioassay and selection of seeds, pollen, or somaclones for useful traits.