Potato Grower

August Potato/IGSA 2010

Issue link: http://read.uberflip.com/i/14183

Contents of this Issue


Page 45 of 56

diggin’ in VARIETY RESEARCH ARS Staff Report GOAL: CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT IN THE BAG. Geneticist Rich Novy harvests tubers of a potato breed- ing clone at Tetonia, Idaho. LAST TUBERS STANDING. Green plants of the late blight-resistant potato variety Defender, surrounded by susceptible varieties killed by late blight in a test plot at Bonners Ferry, Idaho. COLORFUL DIFFERENCES. Geneticists Chuck Brown, left, and Roy Navarre examine some of the diverse potato lines prior to analysis of phytonutrients. EVALUATION TIME. Pilot plant operator Dennis Olson, right, and food technologist Marty Glynn prepare slices of potatoes for frying and evaluation. SPROUTING PROBLEM. Sprouting during storage diminishes a potato’s processing and nutritional qualities and means less profit for the producer. CLOSER INSPECTION. Physiologist Jeffrey Suttle inspects micro- tubers for signs of sprouting before hormone analysis by mass spectrometry. Sustainable Solutions ARS scientists fighting blight and post-harvest loss POTATOES ARE AMERICA’S NO. 1 vegetable crop. Per capita, Americans consume about 130 pounds annually. Worldwide, it’s the fourth-largest crop after wheat, rice and corn. But it’s a wonder that the potato makes it to the dinner table at all, given the myriad pests and diseases that can take hold well before harvest. There’s the Columbia root-knot nematode, which costs U.S. growers $20 million annually; the potato tuber moth; and late blight, which caused the Irish Potato Famine of 1845 and is still responsible for significant losses and control expenses today. Chemical fumigants and fungicides have long been a staple defense for these pests and pathogens. But the onset of resistance in new pest or pathogen biotypes—coupled with environmental concerns about long-term pesticide use— has prompted the search for sustainable solutions in the form of genetic resistance. 22 Potato Grower | AUGUST 2010 A RECENT DEFENDER Nationwide, ARS researchers are seeking to develop new varieties that will not only hold their own against insects and disease, but also maintain their storage quality and deliver nutrients that promote health and well-being in potato lovers the world over. For example, at ARS’s Small Grains and Potato Germplasm Research Unit in Aberdeen, Idaho, geneticist Rich Novy and plant pathologist Jonathan Whitworth spearhead a program to develop new lines that are resistant to different biotypes of the late blight pathogen, Phytophthora infestans. Toward that end, they’re collaborating with Héctor Lozoya-Saldaña, a potato researcher in Chapingo, Mexico, where late blight is endemic. “We send 2,500 breeding clones annually to Chapingo, where Lozoya- Saldaña evaluates them for late blight

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Potato Grower - August Potato/IGSA 2010