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
Citrus stew courtesy of Irma
Citrus
October 19, 2017
Disaster Relief: Ways Florida Growers Can Find Farm Aid
With billions of dollars lost to Irma, financial assistance will be crucial for many. Read More
Fruits
October 19, 2017
New Online Tool Helps Growers Determine Need for Groundwater Recharge
California Land Use Viewer can help growers determine if they can adopt groundwater recharge practices on their own operations. Read More
subirrigation implementation
Irrigation
October 19, 2017
Northeast Florida Farmers Stepping up to Save Water
Green light given to nine agricultural projects steeped in stewardship. Read More
Vegetables
October 18, 2017
The 2018 State of the Vegetable Industry Survey Is Now Open!
How has this year performed for you? Share how things have gone this year – and your expectations for 2018 – in our shorter, more focused survey. Read More
Citrus
October 18, 2017
How to Keep Track of Climate Change
Use cool tools to find out how your production methods may change in the future, how much your area is at risk, and how to limit your own impact on the climate. Read More
Vegetables
October 18, 2017
Stop Viewing Fellow Growers as the Enemy [Opinion]
Instead, growers should focus on issues that benefit everyone, from gaining a stronger voice when negotiating with retailers, to finding a way to share ideas and costs on precision agriculture tools. Read More
Citrus
October 17, 2017
USDA Issues Disaster Declaration for Hurricane-Stricken Florida Farmers
Operators in designated counties eligible for emergency assistance. Read More
Fruits
October 17, 2017
Hirst Named American Society of Horticultural Science Fellow
Honor was presented during society’s annual meeting. Read More
Crop Protection
October 17, 2017
EPA Takes Steps to Reduce Risk of Drift-Related Herbicide Injury
With reports of dicamba injuries in tomatoes, peaches, grapes, and other crops, the agency works to reduce the impact of spray drift on vulnerable crops. Read More
Fruits
October 16, 2017
New Broad-Spectrum Herbicide Released by Nufarm
Grapple herbicide works on pre- and post-emergent weeds in orchards and vineyards. Read More
Flooded peach and grape groves from Irma at UF/IFAS HAEC
Citrus
October 16, 2017
Wrath of Hurricane Irma’s Rainfall Measured by the Trillions
Report says storm dropped enough gallons of water on Florida’s St. Johns River Water Management District to swamp 6.7 million football fields. Read More
Checking hop cones at UF/IFAS MREC
Fruits
October 14, 2017
USDA Seeks Applications for Next Round of Specialty Crop Research Grants
SCRI grants to total $48 million for 2018 fiscal year. Read More
Grapes
October 13, 2017
Fairgrounds Host California Fire Evacuees
Gallo will contribute $1 million to fire recovery effort and will match employee donations two-for-one. Read More
Fallen citrus fruit in wake of Irma
Citrus
October 12, 2017
Irma Rains Down on Florida Citrus Crop Estimate
Initial USDA forecast reflects the fruits of what was left behind by monster storm. Read More
Grapes
October 10, 2017
Wildfires Hit California Wine Country
California Gov. Jerry Brown declares state of emergency for northern counties impacted by flames. Read More
The Latest
Citrus
October 19, 2017
Disaster Relief: Ways Florida Growers Ca…
With billions of dollars lost to Irma, financial assistance will be crucial for many. Read More
Fruits
October 19, 2017
New Online Tool Helps Growers Determine …
California Land Use Viewer can help growers determine if they can adopt groundwater recharge practices on their own operations. Read More
Irrigation
October 19, 2017
Northeast Florida Farmers Stepping up to…
Green light given to nine agricultural projects steeped in stewardship. Read More
Vegetables
October 18, 2017
The 2018 State of the Vegetable Industry…
How has this year performed for you? Share how things have gone this year – and your expectations for 2018 – in our shorter, more focused survey. Read More
Citrus
October 18, 2017
How to Keep Track of Climate Change
Use cool tools to find out how your production methods may change in the future, how much your area is at risk, and how to limit your own impact on the climate. Read More
Vegetables
October 18, 2017
Stop Viewing Fellow Growers as the Enemy…
Instead, growers should focus on issues that benefit everyone, from gaining a stronger voice when negotiating with retailers, to finding a way to share ideas and costs on precision agriculture tools. Read More
Citrus
October 17, 2017
USDA Issues Disaster Declaration for Hur…
Operators in designated counties eligible for emergency assistance. Read More
Fruits
October 17, 2017
Hirst Named American Society of Horticul…
Honor was presented during society’s annual meeting. Read More
Crop Protection
October 17, 2017
EPA Takes Steps to Reduce Risk of Drift-…
With reports of dicamba injuries in tomatoes, peaches, grapes, and other crops, the agency works to reduce the impact of spray drift on vulnerable crops. Read More
Fruits
October 16, 2017
New Broad-Spectrum Herbicide Released by…
Grapple herbicide works on pre- and post-emergent weeds in orchards and vineyards. Read More
Citrus
October 16, 2017
Wrath of Hurricane Irma’s Rainfall…
Report says storm dropped enough gallons of water on Florida’s St. Johns River Water Management District to swamp 6.7 million football fields. Read More
Fruits
October 14, 2017
USDA Seeks Applications for Next Round o…
SCRI grants to total $48 million for 2018 fiscal year. Read More
Grapes
October 13, 2017
Fairgrounds Host California Fire Evacuee…
Gallo will contribute $1 million to fire recovery effort and will match employee donations two-for-one. Read More
Citrus
October 12, 2017
Irma Rains Down on Florida Citrus Crop E…
Initial USDA forecast reflects the fruits of what was left behind by monster storm. Read More
Grapes
October 10, 2017
Wildfires Hit California Wine Country
California Gov. Jerry Brown declares state of emergency for northern counties impacted by flames. Read More
Citrus
October 10, 2017
Impressions from Irma Indelible on the F…
Striking images from the field reveal not only the storm’s destructive nature, but also paths to recovery and reconstruction. Read More
Crop Protection
October 9, 2017
Field Scouting Guide: Black Rot of Brass…
Follow these tips for spotting and treating Xanthomonas campestris. Read More
Citrus
October 9, 2017
(We Won’t Back Down … ) Stan…
You don’t have to be a super hero, rock star, or award-winning scientist to aid farming. You can help by supporting professionalism in fields. Read More