Research

Large Nordic chicken producer invests in potato-based, chicken alternative

Scandi Standard, the largest producer of chicken in Nordic countries, announced this week its partnership and investmentin Veg of Lund, which is a producer of bottled plant-based smoothies. It seems like an unlikely duo, but Veg of Lund has patented its smoothie base of potato and rapeseed oil, which will be used to create the plant-based chicken alternative. The meat producer has[Read More…]

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Researchers found biopesticide to be effective in controlling potato cyst nematode

Abamectin is a mixture of avermectins, acting as an insecticide by affecting the nervous system of and paralyzing insects. A team of researchers from Italy and Moldova took part in a research project to test the efficacy of the biopesticide Abamectin in the control of potato cyst nematode Globodera pallida. The research team concluded that their research shows abamectin to be effective in controlling potato cyst nematode G. pallida on potato crops.

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Can horsetail weed extract become the source of a new biopesticide to combat late blight?

Scientists from Tyumen State University in Russia took part in a research study on how peptide extracts of medicinal plants affect the development of potato late blight. Horsetail extract is recognized as holding promise for combating it, and might become a main source for the development of a new biopesticide, the press service of Tyumen State University reported on Thursday. The results of the work were published in the journal Plants.

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Annual Cambridge Potato Conference to be hosted as hybrid event in December

The 31st Annual Cambridge Potato Conference is scheduled for 15 and 16 December this year. After much discussion and planning by the CUPGRA Executive Committee, it has been decided, owing to COVID-19 restrictions, to go ahead with a hybrid real-virtual conference to continue the unbroken run of 30 successful CUPGRA Cambridge Potato Conferences.

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UK: Agronomy Week 2020

Agronomy Week will run from Monday 30 November to Friday 4 December. It will comprise a series of webinars aimed at agronomists on important issues in contemporary agronomy. Ordinarily, AHDB hosts the Agronomists

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Abertay Univ and Agrico cooperate to develop a better potato using videogaming tech

Videogame technology will be used to help develop the perfect potato as part of a ground-breaking new project involving Abertay University and a major potato seed supplier, reports Richard Mason in a news story published by The National. The university, based in Dundee, has entered into a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Agrico UK Ltd, with the aim of utilising artificial intelligence to shorten what is normally a lengthy and complicated process, taking more than 10 years to breed a new potato variety.

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Kenya: Potato-legume intercropping can decrease soil erosion, improve moisture retention, boost yields

The potato-growing belts in sub-Saharan Africa have experienced steady increases in heat stress, irregular rainfall, persistent droughts, high soil erosion rates and recurrent floods. Researchers Nyawade Shadrack, Elke Vandamme, Michael Friedmann and Monica Parker report on two potential roles of potato-legume intercropping: (i) improved control of soil erosion to make potato production more sustainable in the highlands; and (ii) optimizing soil temperatures, soil water contents and soil nutrient balance thus enabling potato production in the drier midland agro-food systems.

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Video: University of Idaho specialists conducting research projects on two seed potato viruses

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.”

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Study found that potato based diet does not disturb blood sugar control in diabetes

Researchers have found for the first time in a rigorously controlled clinical trial that people with diabetes don’t need to avoid potatoes. It is often said that potatoes with high glycemic index should be avoided by diabetics as they may adversely affect blood sugar. But the study indicates that glycemic index is not an accurate surrogate for an individual’s glycemic response (GR) to a food consumed as part of an evening meal. The researchers concluded that potatoes are a vegetable that is sustainable, affordable and nutrient-dense, and thus, they can play an important role in modern diets irrespective of metabolic health status.

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CIP scientists developing digital tools to optimize irrigation water use in potato production

Potato has good potential to help the world meet that challenge, since it produces more calories per liter of water than other major staple crops. Scientists at the International Potato Center (CIP) are trying to enhance that potential through the development of digital tools to optimize the use of water in irrigation. A team of researchers led by crop ecophysiologist David Ram

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‘Yet another one…’ Chinese scientists report the discovery of a new potato disease

As if the beleaguered potato and its growers don’t have enough diseases to contend with, a new potato disease was discovered by Chinese researchers on potato plants during the growing season and also on tubers during the storage period. The disease was identified in potatoes cultivated in Nileke County, Qitai County as well as other locations in Xinjiang province in China. The pathogen was identified by the researchers as Galactomyces candidum F12, identified on the Atlantic potato variety.

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Discovered: A wild potato with high resistance to late blight

In a recent collaboration between the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and the James Hutton institute, scientists identified a diploid wild potato with a high resistance to P. infestans, according to a press release issued by the American Phytopathological Society. “We found that the observed resistance in this wild potato was due to previously uncharacterized novel resistance genes,” explained Guangcun Li, one of the scientists involved in the study. “We also discovered that photosynthesis was inhibited to promote the immune response.”

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Project to research the viability of True Potato Seed in Canada’s far North

A pilot project that could improve food security in Canada’s North got the green light Monday, according to a report by CBC News. Jackie Milne, president of the Northern Farm Training Institute in Hay River, received $50,000 in funding from the government of the Northwest Territories to work with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada scientists to identify the best potato seeds to produce potatoes in the North.

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Biotechnology timeline: Humans have manipulated genes since the

Historically, biotech has been primarily associated with food, addressing such issues as malnutrition and famine, writes Brian Colwell in this article published by Genetic Literacy Project (GLP). Colwell concludes his article saying: “Today, biotechnology is being used in countless areas including agriculture, bioremediation and forensics, where DNA fingerprinting is a common practice. Industry and medicine alike use the techniques of PCR, immunoassays and recombinant DNA. Genetic manipulation has been the primary reason that biology is now seen as the science of the future and biotechnology as one of the leading industries.”

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American Journal of Potato Research: Latest issue now online

The American Journal of Potato Research (AJPR) is the official journal of the Potato Association of America. This journal has 60 open access articles. Volume 97, issue 4, August 2020 can now be accessed online. Here is a sampling of some of the articles published in this issue.

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National project led by U of I tackles virus threats to potato industry

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.

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Canada: Researchers study the benefits of precision irrigation for potato growers

Researchers in Canada’s Alberta province are studying how potato farmers and their crops could benefit from new irrigation technology. The industry and government supported project “Towards Climate-Robust Irrigation Water Management for Potato Production” is now in the second year of its 4-year run. The project is investigating if precision irrigation can help increase water use efficiency and potato crop yields in Alberta.

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Wageningen UR offers PhD project for potato sustainability research

Wageningen UR in the Netherlands is now offering a PhD research opportunity – in principle a 4-year PhD position – for the study of potato sustainability. This project is said to be about understanding the effects of extreme weather events on potato development and on the yield and quality of the tubers. These effects can be viewed in relation to soil quality management and its implications for crop climate resistance and nutrient-use efficiency.

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Plant protein discovery could reduce need for fertilizer and improve the tolerance of crops to climate change

Researchers at the University of Nottingham in the UK have discovered how a protein in plant roots controls the uptake of minerals and water, a finding which could improve the tolerance of agricultural crops to climate change and reduce the need for chemical fertilisers. The research shows that members of the blue copper proteins family, the Uclacyanins are vital in the formation of Casparian strips. These strips are essential structures that control mineral nutrient and water use efficiencies by forming tight seals between cells in plants, blocking nutrients and water leaking between.

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EU ‘ADAPT’ Project: Searching for stress-resistant potatoes

The ADAPT project aims at identifying new breeding targets and matching potato varieties to specific challenging environmental growth conditions of the future, according to a press release issued by the University of Vienna. The ADAPT consortium has successfully launched the project “Accelerated Development of multiple-stress tolerAnt PoTato”, which aims at developing new strategies to make potatoes fit for the challenging growth conditions of the future. It will take place over the next four years with a total budget of 5 million Euro from the EU Horizon 2020 program.

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Novel decision support tool under development for preventative in-field potato disease testing

Dr Sarah Sommer and her market research team is working on multiplexed potato virus lateral flow assays at the Newcastle University. The aim is to develop a simple but effective preventative disease testing kit that combines with a smart phone app. Sarah would like to know how the tool can be used in a practical environment and connect with interested potato industry people with whom she can discuss the concept, its further development and eventual application.

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