AAFC profiles the 2017 accelerated release selections.
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 are intended primarily for the process market. Last year, six of the 16 new varieties that were showcased were intended for the process market.
AAFC research scientist and potato breeder Benoit Bizimungu says the increase in fresh market varieties this year was largely in response to the feedback received at last year’s open houses about red skinned selections. While each of this year’s fresh varieties have their own distinct characteristics, several appear to have high yield potential, significant disease resistance and even multiple purpose use in some cases, he says.
Choosing which varieties make the cut for the open houses can be a lengthy and exhaustive procedure. Agnes Murphy, another AAFC research scientist and potato breeder based in Fredericton, says as many as 50 varieties can be submitted for an initial round of national trials. That number is then whittled down to between 12 and 15 for the open houses.
“It’s still really early days at this point,” Murphy says. “These are not finished cultivars. They’re only half way along in their evaluations. The purpose of trials at this point is for growers to assess [the varieties] under their own specific growing conditions.”
One of the most promising traits among this year’s new varieties, Bizimungu says, is their potential disease resistance, something he notes growers have been asking about for some time. Several of this year’s varieties have shown extreme resistance to potato virus Y (PVY), potato virus X and late blight, something that could make them particularly appealing to organic growers.
Some of this year’s varieties that show the most promise in that regard are AR2017-05, AR2017-6, AR2017-08, AR2017-09, AR2017-11 and AR2017-14.
“PVY has been a really tough disease the past couple of years to manage. Having genetic resistance would make things much easier for seed growers,” says Bizimungu. “We have a number of selections that have really strong resistance [to PVY]. [And] we’re making some progress on late blight. It’s been a threat to crop production everywhere.
“We hope those traits can be beneficial to organic growers too. We know the difficulties organic growers are facing in terms of disease control. Having genetic resistance makes some of the selections more appealing to organic growers.”
Promising Production Varieties
Three other varieties that have shown considerable promise in early testing are AR2017-01, AR2017-02 and AR2017-03, the three processing varieties unveiled at the open houses. All three have demonstrated unique attributes in terms of how they respond to cold storage.
Bizimungu says all three can be processed with a good fried colour while maintaining the required low sugar levels needed for products such as french fries and potato chips.
“These varieties have low sugars and those low sugars are stable. They remain low even after cold storage,” he says.
Two of the multi-purpose stars of this year’s AAFC open houses were AR2017-04 and AR2017-05.
In the case of AR2017-04, preliminary testing has indicated it is well suited for both the fresh market and for potato wedges. It has also shown early promise in terms of high yield potential and its ability to grow in several different regions across the country.
“It’s somewhat unique in that it’s a dual-purpose cultivar,” Murphy says. “This year this one’s a little bit of a standout.”
AR2017-05 shows similar potential. Early indications are that it could be used for either fresh market use or potato chips. “It’s desirable because sometimes you need to have more than one use and [you] want to look at more options,” Bizimungu adds.
Two new varieties that have some considerable promise in terms of pest resistance are AR2017-14 and AR2017-15. Both have produced strong results when tested for defoliation against the Colorado potato beetle. Although not quite immune to the beetle, both varieties have shown significantly reduced rates of defoliation against the beetle in early testing, in some cases by as much as 50 per cent.
“Having this improved resistance helps reduce the amount of chemicals you have to put in the field and the rate of spraying,” Bizimungu says, noting both have also shown resistance to PVX and nematodes.
Wide Range of Variety
Murphy says one of the most impressive aspects of this year’s selections is that they offered a “smorgasbord” of traits that could appeal to different growers in a variety of markets. That can be attributed in part to the fact the germplasm that was used to develop this year’s 15 different samples originated from a wide range of Canadian and U.S. testing programs.
“We’re interested in not putting all of our eggs in one basket,” she says. “It’s interesting to see there is a fair range of parents involved [this year].”
Accelerated Release 2017 Selections
The Accelerated Release 2017 (AR2017) available selections include entries for many sectors of the processing and fresh markets. Each selection number links to a description, picture, and tables of performance and quality data.
French Fry Selection
Potato Selection AR2017-01 (CV08104-5) (A98345-1 x CO98067-7RU) French Fry
Oblong to long selection with buff skin and white flesh; good french fry, cold (7 C) storage potential; extremely resistant to PVY
Potato Selection AR2017-02 (F12004) (Blazer Russet x Glacier Fryer) French Fry
Long selection with buff skin and white flesh; good french fry, cold (7 C) storage potential; moderate resistance to scab
Potato Selection AR2017-03 (F12011) (F99028 x ND699-13) French Fry
Oblong selection with light russet skin and white flesh; good french fry, cold (7 C) storage potential; resistant to scab
Potato Selection AR2017-04 (F12064) (Red Island x Goldrus) Fresh Market, French Fry
Oval to oblong selection with red skin, light yellow flesh; high yield potential; good dual purpose quality scores (fresh market/french fry-wedges); resistant to PVY
Potato Selection AR2017-05 (F12043) (F00016 x King Harry) Fresh Market, Chip
Round selection with white skin and cream flesh; good boil, bake and chip scores; resistant to PVY, extremely resistant to PVX, moderate resistance to scab
Fresh Market Selections
Potato Selection AR2017-06 (F12008) (Defender x F87070) Fresh Market
Long selection with russet skin and white flesh; high yield potential; good boil and bake scores; resistant to late blight, resistant to PVY, carries a marker associated with resistance to golden nematode
Potato Selection AR2017-07 (F12022) (Innovator x F99047) Fresh Market
Oblong selection with russet skin and light yellow flesh; high yield potential; good boil and bake scores; resistant to scab, indication of moderate resistance to late blight
Potato Selection AR2017-08 (F12024) (A11197-02 x Redsen) Fresh Market
Round selection with smooth red skin and white flesh; high tuber set; fair boil and bake scores; extremely resistant to PVX, indication of resistance to late blight, moderate resistance to scab
Potato Selection AR2017-09 (F12031) (AT12897-17 x Redsen) Fresh Market
Oval selection with dark red skin, white flesh, good boil and bake scores; resistant to PVY, extremely resistant to PVX
Potato Selection AR2017-10 (F12035) (A11197-02 x Rochdale Gold- Dorée) Fresh Market
Round selection with light yellow skin, white flesh; good boil and bake scores; resistant to PVY, moderate resistance to scab
Potato Selection AR2017-11 (F12041) (Chieftain x Rochdale Gold- Dorée) Fresh Market
Round to oval selection with red skin, light yellow flesh; high yield potential; good boil and bake scores; extremely resistant to PVX, moderate resistance to scab
Potato Selection AR2017-12 (F12044) (F00016 x Redsen) Fresh Market
Round selection with smooth red skin and white flesh; very high yield potential; good boil and bake scores; indication of moderate resistance to late blight
Potato Selection AR2017-13 (F12049) (King Harry x Redsen) Fresh Market
Round selection with smooth red skin and white flesh; good boil and fair bake scores; resistant to scab and to PVX
Potato Selection AR2017-14 (F12060) (V0498-9 x V07025-3) Fresh Market
Round to oval selection with smooth red skin and white flesh; good boil and bake scores; extremely resistant to PVX, carries a marker associated with resistance to golden nematode, moderately resistant to defoliation by Colorado potato beetle
Potato Selection AR2017-15 (F12061) V0498-9 x V07025-3) Fresh Market
Round to oval selection with smooth red skin and white flesh; high yield potential, high tuber set; good boil and bake scores; resistant to PVX, carries a marker associated with resistance to golden nematode, indication of moderate resistance to late blight, moderately resistant to defoliation by Colorado potato beetle