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Genetically engineered potatoes approved for Maine

The Maine Board of Pesticides Control unanimously approved on Friday, May 12 the registration of three new types of genetically engineered potatoes that have been developed by a major Idaho agribusiness company. The means that J.R. Simplot Co.’s Russet Burbank, Ranger Russet and Atlantic potatoes could be planted in Maine fields at any time. By adding genes from a wild potato plant, these potatoes were created. These potato types are designed to…

The Promise of Innate

There’s been plenty of talk in Canadian potato circles this past year about Innate, the genetically modified potato from J.R. Simplot Company that’s been given the green light by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Health Canada. Those approvals came too late for the product to be grown commercially in Canada in 2016, but don’t be surprised if Innate potatoes make an appearance this year. Kevin MacIsaac, general manager of the…

More Than Just a Purple Potato

Although potato growers, large grocery chains and potato processors continue to meet the consumer’s insatiable appetite for fries and chips, the consumption value of all potato varieties is being lost in the bin. When the potato was given a bad reputation in the high protein diet craze, consumers began to move to other starches. Recently, the industry has attempted to prompt a new conversation about the nutritional value of the humble spud….

New Potato Varieties 2017

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) rolled out 15 new potato varieties to growers and industry representatives on Feb. 13 at three open houses: Fredericton, N.B., Guelph, Ont. and Lethbridge, Alta. The open houses were an opportunity for AAFC researchers to share results of the agency’s potato breeding program’s accelerated release selections. Twelve of the 15 new varieties unveiled are classified as fresh market or dual purpose use, while the three remaining varieties…

Innate Second Generation Potatoes Receive EPA and FDA Clearances

Feb. 28, 2017, Boise, Idaho — The J.R. Simplot Company announced today that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have completed their independent reviews and granted registrations and clearances for three varieties of Simplot’s second generation of Innate potatoes. The three varieties have already been deregulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) so these new agency registrations and clearances permit these proprietary bioengineered…

Fast-Tracking Extreme Resistance

A key tool in the arsenal for controlling potato virus Y (PVY) is cultivar resistance. Now, researchers are developing better molecular markers for faster, more accurate screening of potato breeding lines for “extreme resistance” to PVY – equivalent to PVY immunity. That will enable breeders to more efficiently develop new varieties with total protection against this serious disease. “PVY is one of the most widespread viruses and also one of the most…

From Traits to DNA to Traits

Potato breeders select promising lines mainly based on the plants’ phenotypes – how the individual plants perform under greenhouse and field conditions; in other words, how each plant expresses its own specific DNA – its genotype – in a particular environmental situation. But phenotypic selection can be time-consuming and imperfect. So Canadian researchers are matching key phenotypic traits with specific DNA segments to develop tools for quicker, more reliable identification of the…

Australian OGTR Approves Field Trial of GM Potato

The Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) in Australia has issued a license to the Queensland University of Technology, allowing the limited and controlled release (field trial) of potato genetically modified (GM) for disease resistance. The field trial (License Application DIR 150) is authorized to take place at one site of up to 0.1 hectare in Redland City, Queensland, for a period of two years. It will assess the agronomic characteristics…

Red-skinned potato varieties lead selections by breeders

Red-skinned potato varieties made up half of the total selections Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) breeders released to industry during the annual potato selection release open house on Feb. 15. For the first time, the program will unveil a multi-purpose red-skinned selection, showing promise for processing as wedges and as a traditional table potato. In all, 15 selections were displayed this year by the AAFC breeding program for industry representatives in Fredericton,…

Potato-Vegetable Growers Give $5 Million for UW-Research

Potato growers plan to give $5 million to University of Wisconsin-Madison during the next decade to conduct research for the industry. Members of the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) will pay for the new research with higher assessments on their product sales. Last summer, the industry increased its assessment by one penny for every 100 pounds of potatoes and vegetables produced , and the association’s board plans to raise it…

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