A University of Idaho-led team will tackle a pair of viruses that cause major losses to the potato industry. In a press release issued by the University, it is said that U of I researcher and potato virus expert Alex Karasev will lead the project funded by a $5.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute for Food and Agriculture.
The team of two dozen scientists will target potato virus Y (PVY) and potato mop top virus (PMTV) in seed potatoes, the first level of commercial potato production, and in potatoes grown for market.
The project involves seed improvement organizations nationally that certify seed potatoes are disease free.
Long known as a serious problem for growers, PVY damages plants and reduces yields and the size of the potatoes, making the crop less valuable. An earlier U of I study estimated losses from PVY cost Idaho