Entomologists at the University of Idaho are leading ten state research projects focused on two viruses that can devastate seed potato farmers, according to a report by RFD-TV. In an interview with RFD-TV, Professor and project leader, Alexander Karasev says that one of their targets is potato mop-top virus, which has been found in six states.
According to Karasev, “The second virus is potato virus Y. It can lead to a downgrade of seed potato loads, but also, a potato [infected with potato virus Y] may induce a disease which is called potato tuber necrotic ringspot disease, making fresh market tubers completely unusable.”
He added that in the short-term, researchers are looking to provide recommendations and tools to give growers a chance to control the virus. IN the long term, the idea is to try and develop potato cultivars that are resistant to both viruses.
Photo: Potato mop top virus | PotatoPro