Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Monograph Series
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/31/1997
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Not required.
Technical Abstract: The cultivated potato belongs to the genus Solanum which contains over 2000 species that are distributed essentially all over the world except for the polar regions. In addition to the potato of commerce, S. tuberosum, there are at least 7 other cultivated species & about 200 wild tuber-bearing species. The wild tuber-bearing species are important to potato improvement tprograms because they are resistant to many pests & pathogens & are adapte to environmental extremes. Cultivated potatoes originated in the high Andes of South America. They were imported into Spain during the last half of the 16th century & from there spread throughout Europe & most other parts of the world. Potatoes were first introduced into the US in 1621 from England via Bermuda & grown in the colony of Virginia & later (1719) into New Hampshire where they were grown by the Scotch Irish. Potatoes are now one of the world's major food crops with over 290 million metric tons pro- duced annually. The potato cyst nematodes, are the most economically impor tant nematode parasite of potatoes worldwide. Species of root-knot nema- todes can cause severe reduction in potato yields under suitable soil and environmental conditions. Root lesion nematodes can cause severe damage alone and they also interact with the fungus Verticillium dahliae causing a disease known as potato early dying. The false root-knot nematode is a serious pest of potatoes in some South American countries. The potato rot nematode occurs in isolated areas of the US where it causes severe losses in potato yields. Species of stunt nematodes transmit a virus to potatoes causing a disease known as corky ring spot. Other nematodes such as sting and burrowing nematodes occur less freqently in potato soils but where they do occur they can cause substantial losses.