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

Farm ManagementIndustry Organizations Sound Off On President’s Immigration Plan
November 21, 2014
Agriculture is not given the attention it so sorely deserves when it comes to the immigration debate. Read More
Insect ControlDon’t Turn Your Back On Striped Blister Beetles
November 21, 2014
Learn how to ID, the survival and spread, as well as management methods of this vegetable pest. Read More
CitrusRamped-Up Predatory Mite Production To Benefit Growers
November 21, 2014
Biologics company Beneficial Insectary now rearing two species in its California facility. Read More
NutsArizona Pistachio And Pecan Growers Benefiting From High Prices
November 21, 2014
Pecan production alone is expected to double in the next 10 years. Read More
Apples & PearsOn The Road With The International Fruit Tree Association Study Tour To Italy Part 2 [Slideshow]
November 21, 2014
Attention to detail is evident in the production of high quality feathered apple trees at GRIBA’s nursery. Read More
Fruits2014 California Winegrape Harvest: Outstanding
November 21, 2014
It’s the earliest crop of the decade, but still a third in a string of great vintages. Read More
FruitsFetzer Vineyards Pioneers Zero Waste
November 21, 2014
Company achieves top sustainability certification by diverting 98% of its waste from the landfill. Read More
VegetablesFormer Harris Seeds Co. CEO, Per Jensen, Passes At 85
November 21, 2014
A passion for plants defined longtime industry influencer. Read More
GrapesPerfect Storm Hurts New York Concord Grape Growers
November 21, 2014
More than 10,000 tons of juice grapes are abandoned because of too much production and no market. Read More
FruitsClassic Turkey Day Dinner Costing Consumers More This Year
November 20, 2014
Despite increase, a family of 10 can still get stuffed for less than $50. Read More

The Latest

Farm ManagementIndustry Organizations Sound Off On President’s Immig…
November 21, 2014
Agriculture is not given the attention it so sorely deserves when it comes to the immigration debate. Read More
Insect ControlDon’t Turn Your Back On Striped Blister Beetles
November 21, 2014
Learn how to ID, the survival and spread, as well as management methods of this vegetable pest. Read More
CitrusRamped-Up Predatory Mite Production To Benefit Growers
November 21, 2014
Biologics company Beneficial Insectary now rearing two species in its California facility. Read More
NutsArizona Pistachio And Pecan Growers Benefiting From Hig…
November 21, 2014
Pecan production alone is expected to double in the next 10 years. Read More
Apples & PearsOn The Road With The International Fruit Tree Associati…
November 21, 2014
Attention to detail is evident in the production of high quality feathered apple trees at GRIBA’s nursery. Read More
Fruits2014 California Winegrape Harvest: Outstanding
November 21, 2014
It’s the earliest crop of the decade, but still a third in a string of great vintages. Read More
FruitsFetzer Vineyards Pioneers Zero Waste
November 21, 2014
Company achieves top sustainability certification by diverting 98% of its waste from the landfill. Read More
VegetablesFormer Harris Seeds Co. CEO, Per Jensen, Passes At 85
November 21, 2014
A passion for plants defined longtime industry influencer. Read More
GrapesPerfect Storm Hurts New York Concord Grape Growers
November 21, 2014
More than 10,000 tons of juice grapes are abandoned because of too much production and no market. Read More
FruitsClassic Turkey Day Dinner Costing Consumers More This Y…
November 20, 2014
Despite increase, a family of 10 can still get stuffed for less than $50. Read More
Insect ControlFlorida Vegetable Growers Gain Access To New Nematicide
November 20, 2014
Methyl bromide alternative Nimitz approved for use on tomatoes, peppers, okra, eggplant, cucumber, watermelon, cantaloupe, and squash. Read More
EquipmentHighlights From EIMA International In Italy [Slideshow]
November 19, 2014
The 2014 edition of the International Agricultural and Gardening Machinery Exhibition (EIMA) boasted a record number of attendees from 124 countries. Read More
Farm ManagementVegetableGrowerConnect Delivers Results For Growers And…
November 19, 2014
Suppliers and growers got down to business in San Diego discussing current needs, solutions, and ways to increase efficiencies on the farm. Browse this slideshow for VegetableGrowerConnect highlights. Read More
FruitsFixing Farm Labor Woes Worth The Extra Effort [Opinion]
November 19, 2014
40th annual Ag Labor Relations Forum encourages outreach and action. Read More
BerriesPackaging Company’s Campaign To Benefit Future Organi…
November 19, 2014
Sambrailo Packaging of Watsonville, CA, has partnered with California Certified Organic Farmers and will donate a portion of the sales of clamshells made from plastic bottles. Read More
Apples & PearsOn The Road With The International Fruit Tree Associati…
November 19, 2014
Win Cowgill of Rutgers University details a trip through the one of the most concentrated fruit growing areas in the world, the South Tyrol region of Italy. Read More
IrrigationAlmond Grower Honored For Water Efficiency
November 18, 2014
Ongoing drought highlights the efforts of third-generation Madera County grower Tom Rogers. Read More
CitrusWomen’s Impact On Agriculture Impressive [Opinion…
November 18, 2014
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam says the long-term sustainability of farming depends on our youth. Read More