TechnologyPlant Breeding & Variety DevelopmentResearchers Create Potato Super Pangenome

Researchers Create Potato Super Pangenome


A group of researchers at McGill University have created a potato super pan genome to identify genetic traits to breed better potatoes, an Aug. 23 news release said.

“Our super pangenome sheds light on the potato’s genetic diversity and what kinds of genetic traits could potentially be bred into our modern-day crop to make it better,” Martina Strömvik, a professor at McGill University, said in the release. “It represents 60 species and is the most extensive collection of genome sequence data for the potato and its relatives to date.”

The release noted a genome is an organism’s complete set of genetic instructions known as the DNA sequence, while a pangenome aims to capture the complete genetic diversity within a species, and a super pangenome also includes multiple species.

To build the potato pangenome, the researchers used supercomputers to crunch data from public databanks, including gene banks in Canada, the United States, and Peru, the release said. The pangenome can be used to answer many questions about the evolution of potatoes over the years. It can also be used to identify specific genes to create a super spud using traditional breeding or gene editing technology.

“Scientists hope to develop something that can defend against various forms of diseases and better withstand extreme weather like lots of rain, frost, or a drought,” Strömvik said.

Strömvik collaborated with researchers across Canada, the U.S. and Peru on the project. The research findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Related Articles

Potato Genome Reconstruction Opens Potato Breeding Possibilities

Researchers use TALENs for Targeted Genome Editing of Potato

Colorado potato beetle genome gives insight into major agricultural pest

Trending This Week

Potato harvest 2017 copy

What Ignoring Your Stored Spuds Until the End of Harvest Could Cost You

Do you have bin management plan to support your potatoes from load-in through suberization? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked various producers...
Under the Hill Farms harvest

Manitoba Storage Potato Harvest in Full Swing

The Manitoba potato harvest for storage is in full swing with about a third of potatoes having been harvested, the Sept. 15 provincial potato report...
Daikon Radish

North American Potato Research Bulletin: PAA Meeting Highlights

A highlight reel of the latest potato research projects presented at the 2023 PAA annual meeting. Potato researchers across North America are working every day...
Bayer CropScience Canada logo

New Bayer Fungicides Receive Canadian Registration

Emesto Complete fungicide and insecticide seed-piece treatment and Velum Rise fungicide/nematicide have received registration in Canada, a Sept. 19 news release from Bayer Crop Science...
Potato harvest 2017 copy

Ontario Storage Potato Harvest Well Underway

The harvest of the storage potato crop is in full swing near Alliston, Ont., a Sept. 21 email update from Eugenia Banks said. "The area was...