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Solynta Granted US Patent for Hybrid True Potato Seed Development

Solynta, the inventor and global leader in the breeding of hybrid potato cultivars produced from true potato seed, announced the grant of U.S. Patent Serial No. 10,524,436 entitled “Hybrid Potato Breeding.” The patent claims Solynta’s methods of producing potato inbreds and hybrids that are propagated from true seed. Dr. Pim Lindhout, Solynta’s Chief Scientific Officer, states “Solynta’s innovative Hybrid True Potato Seed breeding will finally unlock the humble potato’s vast potential. Not only producing more and better food but…

Nurse Crops in Potato Production

As with any field crop, young potato plants face many threats. Erosion, wind, drought and competition from weeds are a few of the factors that can impede the plants’ optimal growth. This is why a team at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) in the Maritimes has been looking into nurse crops — what they describe as fast-growing companion crops planted during the potato-growing season that help draw water to root systems, provide…

New Tool to Detect Blackleg Disease in Potato has Widespread Application

The American Phytopathological Society Potatoes are important. They rank fourth among the world’s staple crops. In the United States, they are grown commercially in 30 states and valued at $4 billion annually. Potatoes are also susceptible to 160 different fungal, bacterial, and viral diseases, such as blackleg and soft rot diseases, which are caused by the bacterium Dickeya dianthicola. In 2015, an aggressive outbreak of this bacterium led to losses of greater than…

GM Potato Trials Point to Blight-Resistant Crops of the Future

A genetically modified potato with improved tuber quality and resistance to the devastating disease late blight has progressed successfully through the latest stage of trials. The field trials follow successful lab experiments to modify Maris Piper potatoes with late blight resistance genes from wild relatives of potato called Solanum americanum and Solanum venturii. To improve tuber quality, the modified Maris Piper lines also have genes switched off – or “silenced” – to…

First Argentine GM Potato to be Released in 2020

The National Council of Technical and Scientific Research (CONICET) commenced with the registration of the first biotech potato variety in Argentina to the National Seed Institute. CONICET, in partnership with Sidus, developed the biotech potato with resistance to virus Y called SPT TICAR. This new biotech potato variety is expected to provide potato farmers with 10% cost savings, reduction in the use of insecticides, and general improvement of competitiveness across the value…

From our Desk

Unlocking the Potato’s True Potential

LAST AUGUST, at the Potato Association of America (PAA) annual meeting, I had an opportunity to talk with Michiel de Vries, Solynta’s research team lead, about the work he and his colleagues are carrying out. Solynta, a potato seed breeding company based in Wageningen, the Netherlands, has invented a fast and efficient hybrid breeding technology. One that could change global food consumption and unlock the true potential of the potato, de Vries…

The Ins and Outs of Potato Yield Monitoring

Bill Menkveld, vice-president of sales and marketing for Greentronics, has never met a grower who isn’t interested in yield maps. He says producers are often surprised by the results. “Growers are always amazed to see how much yield changes across a field. It’s not uncommon to see yields vary by a factor of 100 or 200 per cent,” he says. Yield monitors provide information about crops and production practices and are designed…

Better Sooner Than Later

Late blight is a deadly disease that requires integrated management, including foliar fungicides as a key tool. Usually potato growers make repeated preventive applications of broad-spectrum fungicides starting before row closure, and then use late blight-specific fungicides if the disease is found in their fields. Now studies in Ontario and the Maritimes are working on easy-to-use technologies for early detection of late blight that could allow more targeted fungicide strategies. Late blight…

Advances in Potato Handling Equipment

At one time, the only real tools a potato farmer needed were a trusty spade and a good strong back. While a little blood, sweat and tears can still go a long way in determining how successful a grower can be, having the right tools has become increasingly important. New developments in technology, mechanization, storage and breeding are allowing growers to produce more spuds with fewer resources. The challenge for many potato…

Complex Potato Genome Further Unveiled

The potato is one of the most important food crops worldwide. Improvements to its traits can therefore have a major impact. Reading the genome structure of the potato is extremely tricky, however, as a regular potato consists of four genomes, which makes it difficult to determine the position of the genes. The recent research applied a diploid real potato plant with only one genome, a so-called homozygote, which makes it easier to read and compare the DNA base sequence. This plant, Solyntus, was produced as part of Solynta’s hybrid potato breeding programme.   The genome…

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