Research

Cytoplasmic genome types of European potatoes and their effects on complex agronomic traits

Various wild species germplasm has been used in European potato breeding since the first introduction of potato to Europe. As the plant cytoplasmic genome including chloroplast and mitochondrial genomes is transmitted only through the maternal parent, cytoplasmic markers are useful tools in breeding programs to determine cytoplasmic genome types and to trace maternal ancestors. The potato cytoplasmic genome can be distinguished[Read[Read More…]

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Idaho spud projects receive specialty crop grants

The Idaho State Department of Agriculture has awarded the state’s potato industry more than $340,000 in USDA Specialty Crop Research Block Grants toward international marketing, potato nutrition research and efforts to identify breeding material resistant to pale cyst nematode. ISDA awarded more than $1.74 million to support 16 projects in 2015. Final approval by USDA is expected in September, and the[Read[Read More…]

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US: Research Station, Washington State Potato Commission share information about seed potatoes

The gathering in Othello was all about growing potatoes in the Columbia Basin. The Washington State Potato Commission and Washington State University’s Othello Research Station held its annual Potato Field Day on Thursday. The commission and university have collaborated on research and improving potato farming in the state since 1963. The event let researchers provide farmers and other industry members with reports[Read[Read More…]

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US: Blackleg disease reported in some Michigan potato fields

Aerial blackleg can look like stem and petiole late blight and is being reported in some potato crops in the southern growing areas of Michigan. The bacterium tends to affect single stems and can be distinguished from late blight by the absence of a disease focus, so usually only a single stem on an isolated plant is obvious. The margin[Read[Read More…]

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Canada: Pesticides not leading cause of cancer on Prince Edward Island: professor

Dr. Len Ritter, professor of toxicology, says non-Hodgkin lymphoma rates, the cancer most often associated with pesticides, are lower in Prince Edward Island than anywhere else in Canada. There is no evidence that the safe application of agricultural pesticides causes cancer, says a toxicology professor from Ontario. Dr. Len Ritter, a professor emeritus at the University of Guelph, was in[Read[Read More…]

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UW-Madison’s research programs pack punch

UW-Madison is the fourth-largest research institution in the United States, according to a recent study released by NorthStar Consulting. The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences – CALS – alone has about $102 million in research funding. It’s difficult to quantify direct and indirect economic benefits because of the many complex connections and partnerships across the university and UW-Extension. But[Read[Read More…]

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US: IPM strategies to fight the Colorado Potato Beetle

As the effectiveness of the primary chemical weapon against the Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) starts to wane, new ways to manage this pest are needed where potatoes are intensively grown, according to an article in the the Journal of Integrated Pest Management. The beetle is a major problem in areas such as Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, and Maine. Both[Read[Read More…]

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US: Tri-State varieties expanding abroad

Foreign countries are showing increasing interest in potato varieties developed in the Pacific Northwest and managed by the Potato Variety Management Institute. Officials say Tri-State Potato Research and Breeding Program varieties are beginning to find their way into farm fields throughout the world. A business in Quebec, Canada, has reached an agreement for the exclusive Canadian rights to the Tri-State fresh variety[Read[Read More…]

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US: Potato leafhoppers arrive sooner due to climate change

The potato leafhopper (Empoasca fabae) is a tiny insect with a bright lime-green color that helps it blend in against plant leaves. Despite its unassuming appearance, this little pest causes big headaches for farmers across the eastern half of the United States. By feeding voraciously on many crops, including potatoes, green beans, and alfalfa, the migratory potato leafhopper causes untold[Read[Read More…]

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UK: Crop sustainability projects secure funding

Government research councils have awarded more than £4m in research funding to six projects to help improve the sustainability of horticultural crops. The funding is the second round of awards from the Horticulture & Potato Initiative (HAPI), developed by Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the Natural Environment Research Council and (NERC) the Scottish Government. The Sainsbury Laboratory group leader Professor[Read[Read More…]

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Project aims to develop biotech disease-resistant potato to pass both US and EU regulations

Spuds are a staple diet for many people on Earth. While potatoes seem like robust vegetables, they’re actually pretty susceptible to diseases. Enter the researchers from the TSL Potato Partnership Project, who want to use genetic modification to turn the lowly potato into a disease and bruise-resistant super spud. The five-year super-spud project launched earlier this week, and is headed up[Read[Read More…]

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Canadian researcher to fight potato blight

A Lethbridge College instructor and researcher has received funding to support an applied-research project to keep Alberta potato crops free of the devastating disease that caused the Irish Potato Famine. Melanie Kalischuk, who teaches in the Environmental Sciences program at Lethbridge College, received a total of $191,000 from the Potato Growers of Alberta (PGA), the Alberta Crop Industry Development Fund (ACIDF)[Read[Read More…]

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PepsiCo: This potato chip has a surprisingly futuristic backstory

PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi has heavily increased her company’s budget for research and development. In fact, she’s doubled it during her tenure. One product to come out of that effort: a 3D-printed potato chip. Fortune’s Jennifer Reingold wrote about the new technology in a profile of Nooyi for the new Fortune 500 issue. Reingold details the testing of new products[Read[Read More…]

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The quest to engineer the perfect potato

Super spuds are coming. A genetically modified potato that could resist destructive blight, defend itself against parasitic worms, avoid bruising, and cut down on the accumulation of a suspected carcinogen during cooking would be worth many billions of dollars per year to potato producers across the world. It could also serve as a model technology for addressing issues that affect many[Read[Read More…]

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Canada: Bacteria discovery could have prevented Irish Potato Famine

A Saskatoon research scientist has discovered some good bacteria found in Saskatchewan and Alberta soils that could have stopped the Irish Potato Famine. Sue Boyetchko and her team are taking that naturally-occurring bacteria, multiplying them in a lab and applying the bacteria to potato plants and potatoes themselves. Boyetchko and her team has had a 90 per cent success rate with controlling late[Read[Read More…]

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Cutting-edge science proves chips are addictive

There are certain foods that we really, really like. In fact, they are clinically addictive. The U.S. National Institute on Drug Addiction has produced a report detailing some groundbreaking discovery of the scientific variety that reveals something we never could have imagined. Potato chips are addictive.Sure, the scientist Mark Messier hypothesized this years ago when he appeared on television with[Read[Read More…]

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New research confirms that French fried potatoes are not a source of trans fat

Two new studies published in Preventing Chronic Disease confirmed the dramatic reduction in the trans fat content of French fried potatoes, noticed the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association. More than any other segment of the food industry, the potato industry has made the greatest improvements in the fatty acid profile of its products, including French fried potatoes. Researchers at the Jean Mayer[Read[Read More…]

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GMO potatoes: A solution to key production challenges?

Are there solutions anywhere on the horizon to any of the the most serious pest and disease problems in potato production? According to Dr Phil Nolte, xtension seed potato specialist, University of Idaho, the answer is a qualified yes. “We have the siren call of the ever-developing and ever-improving science of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Yes, I know, the U.S. potato[Read[Read More…]

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First step towards global attack on potato blight

European researchers and companies concerned with the potato disease phytophthora will work more closely with parties in other parts of the world. The first move was made during the biennial meeting of the European network EuroBlight, held in Romania earlier in May. Colleagues from North-America, South-America and Asia were also invited. “They are very interested in our approach; the way[Read[Read More…]

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US: Researchers look for potato psyllid hideouts

As a warm morning grows warmer along Gap Road north of town, Jenita Thinakaran and Rodney Cooper whack a stringy patch of matrimony vine with 2-foot sections of rubber hose, catching leaves, dust and bugs on white screens. The U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers then inspect the surfaces for potato psyllids, a new pest that has the potential to harm[Read[Read More…]

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Researchers map potato blight in Europe

A team of researchers tracking the 2014 population of the potato late blight pathogen have added to the 2013 data to extend the spatial diversity plots and combine this with novel genetic analysis tools that visualise the distribution and diversity of dominant clones and reveals novel genetically diverse isolates in some regions. Monitoring of populations and characterization of invasive genotypes help[Read[Read More…]

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US: Senator pitches for Cornell potato research lab funding

Sen. Charles Schumer is looking out for spuds. On Thursday, the New York Democrat sent a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack asking that the federal agency prioritize money in its 2016 budget to replace and modernize a 78-year-old nematode research facility at Cornell University. “It is critical that this severely dilapidated facility be replaced as soon as possible; otherwise,[Read[Read More…]

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US: Protect potatoes in 2015 with blight hotline

Staying ahead of potato blight is critical to a successful growing season, which is why Syngenta is partnering with experts again to ensure that the latest disease updates remain just a phone call away. The hotlines, sponsored by Revus Top® fungicide, feature updates from five university potato researchers in Idaho, Michigan, North Dakota, Oregon and Washington. “These five universities have[Read[Read More…]

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