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ADAPT: Field trials conducted in Austria to find stress-tolerant potato varieties

The Horizon 2020 EU project Accelerated Development of multiple-stress tolerAnt PoTato (ADAPT), in which Europatat is participating, aims at developing new strategies to make potatoes fit for the challenging growth conditions of the future.

In 2022, the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES) together with the Austrian potato breeding company NOES conducted field trials with selected varieties with the aim to propose improvements to standard VCU protocols.

A total of 16 varieties were selected with a focus on representing a wide range of abiotic stress resistance – from tolerant to susceptible. Eleven varieties obtained from potato breeders involved in ADAPT, namely HZPC, Solana, Meijer and NOES, are also being tested for drought and heat tolerance in the ADAPT field trials in Spain and the Netherlands.

The same set of 16 potato varieties was grown at four different locations in Austria, some of which were characterized by severe drought in 2022. To reflect the importance of the organic sector in both Austria and the EU, the field trials were partially performed under organic farming conditions.

Susanne Kirchmair (NOES) explaining the ADAPT potato field trials during the field day on 14.07.22, and photos of the irrigated and
non-irrigated variety trials on 21.07.22. Courtesy ADAPT

Phenotypic evaluation of the varieties was complemented by different technological approaches. This generated large amounts of data that also feed into the NIB modeling approach to unravel key components important for adaptation to environmental stresses.

The field trials also help to evaluate local performance and biotic stress tolerance of potato varieties selected from the comprehensive ADAPT field trials conducted in Spain and the Netherlands. Particular emphasis was placed on identifying relevant characteristics associated with abiotic stress response and assessing the possibility of including abiotic stress tolerance in variety evaluation.

Source: ADAPT. Read more about the project and the latest news on the website or follow the project on Twitter @eu_adapt

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