Michigan State University Produces New Potato

New Potatoes

Like nearly every other sector of the produce industry, the potato industry is under constant pressure to satisfy consumer and grower needs. According to David Douches, a professor in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences at Michigan State University (MSU), the cultivated potato, Solanum tuberosum, is the most important vegetable crop and the fourth most important food crop in the world. In addition to the fresh market, the potato is an important food for the French fry, chipping, and starch processing industries. 

New varieties are central to the health and growth of the potato industry, Douches says, and MSU’s breeding program continues to address market and production-limiting traits. Key traits are chip quality (low reducing sugars) from storage, scab resistance, late blight resistance, beetle resistance, bruise resistance, starch content, abiotic stress, and nutritional enhancement. 

“If host plant resistance can be increased for both insects and pathogens, pest control costs can be reduced and production management strategies may be simplified,” Douches says.

Potato growers continue to seek chip-processing quality plus long-term storage, scab resistance, Potato Virus Y resistance, late blight resistance, and potato early dying resistance in new potato varieties, according to Douches.

“Among the chip-processing potatoes, there is a major effort across the breeding programs to combine chip-processing and scab resistance,” Douches says. “Also, there are efforts to identify any out-of-the-field chipping potatoes that will replace Atlantic.”

MSU’s breeding program has recently released Kalkaska, a scab-resistant chip-processing potato, and co-released a variety with University of Maine named Beacon Chipper, which has moderate common scab resistance and storage potential. The University of Wisconsin also released Megachip a few years ago that is growing in interest, Douches says.

“Simplot has been developing potatoes that have reduced blackspot bruise, resistance to sugar accumulation, and lower aspargine to improve processing quality,” he adds.

Douches says growers should look for new varieties from MSU, Cornell University, University of Wisconsin, University of Minnesota, and North Dakota State University in 2009. All of these universities have advanced breeding lines suited for the chip-processing market that should be released this year or soon after.

New Research Effort

Last fall, USDA’s National Research Iniative funded a four-year project to translate the advances in plant genomics to tools that can be used by potato and tomato breeders. The project, called the Solanaceae Coordinated Agricultural Project (SolCAP), is headed by Douches, who as project director involves scientists from Michigan State University, Cornell University, The Ohio State University, University of California-Davis, and Oregon State University.

“Through the research efforts, there will be mapping studies to link processing and nutitional traits with genetic markers the plant breeder can use in variety development,” Douches says. “Additional mapping studies will be supported in the breeding community to link resistance traits. This research will be coupled with workshops for the breeders to use the new marker technology.”

SolCAP will also be using www.eXtension.org to disseminate information to the potato and tomato industries in the coming years, Douches says. More information is available on the SolCAP Web site, www.solcap.msu.edu.

Leave a Reply

Featured Stories

All Vegetables Stories >All Fruits Stories >All Nuts Stories >All Citrus Stories >

The Latest

BerriesReal Estate Firm, Wish Farms Strike Large Land Deal
October 1, 2014
$13.8 million transaction includes more than 800 acres acquired from longtime Central Florida produce operation. Read More
VegetablesFind The Right Market For Your Crops
October 1, 2014
Getting to know the demographics of your market is key to maximizing your return on investment. Read More
Insect ControlBagrada Bug And Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Posing Threa…
October 1, 2014
Two species of stink bugs are now posing a serious threat to agricultural production in the Western U.S.: the brown Read More
OrganicResearchers Breeding Organic Tomato Varieties Receive $…
October 1, 2014
Purdue University accepts funding to lead multi-institution research to breed organic varieties that will resist foliar diseases. Read More
Vegetables14 Quality Cabbage Varieties [Slideshow]
October 1, 2014
Browse the slideshow below for information on cabbage varieties from the nation’s leading seed breeders and distributors. Read More
FruitsOrganic And Local Food Economies Receive More Than $52 …
October 1, 2014
Most of the grants were authorized through the 2014 Farm Bill. Read More
Insect ControlMore Than 600,000 Acres Removed From Golden Nematode Re…
October 1, 2014
The potato acreage was taken off the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s list; under 6,000 acres in New York are still considered to be infested. Read More
Crop ProtectionTool Helps Track Insects On The Move At Night
October 1, 2014
Signals collected by the National Weather Service’s Doppler radar network may serve as an early warning system to track corn earworm, a major pest in sweet corn. Read More
NutsNew Walnut Budding, Grafting, and Planting Video Releas…
October 1, 2014
Lake County nurseryman Alex Suchan, who has been grafting trees for two-thirds of a century, is the star. Read More
GenNext GrowersGrowers Need To Be Mindful When Dealing With The Media
October 1, 2014
When being interviewed for a story, preparation is the foundation to help you successfully get your point across. Read More
Citrus Achievement AwardSharing Is Caring When It Comes To Curing Citrus Greeni…
October 1, 2014
Mike Sparks, 2014 Citrus Achievement Award winner, says being open with peers about what's working and not working is crucial in managing HLB. Read More
Florida Ag ExpoKnow How To Knock Back Nematodes
October 1, 2014
The 2014 Florida Ag Expo will provide critical tips in soilborne pest management. Read More
CEU SeriesCEU Series: Vow To Vanquish Weeds Among Vegetables
October 1, 2014
Herbicidal neglect can and will kill your crops. Read More
Insect & Disease UpdateUF Names Interim Director For Citrus Research And Educa…
September 30, 2014
Michael Rogers has been a central figure in Florida’s battle to survive greening. Read More
BerriesPractice Persistence When Battling Botrytis In Blueberr…
September 30, 2014
Cognizance of resistance is key to managing formidable fungus. Read More
CitrusFarming Is Quite The Scary Prospect For Some [Opinion]
September 30, 2014
Florida Grower managing editor Paul Rusnak says economic realities might frighten off future leaders from noble professions. Read More
FruitsNew Suppress Herbicide Gets Green Light From EPA
September 30, 2014
Approval gives organic growers new weed management tool. Read More
BerriesNew Fill-By-Weight Clamshell Filler For Blueberries
September 30, 2014
Lakewood Process Machinery's equipment offers a simplified user interface, minimized drop heights, a new dribble-gate system designed for an increased level of accuracy. Read More