Towards a 'tropical ' potato
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CTA. 1986. Towards a 'tropical ' potato . Spore 4. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/44500
Being the fourth most widely grown food plant in the world, the potato has become a tropical research target and numerous attempts are being made to produce a variety suited to developing countries to help solve their food problems. Much effort has...
Being the fourth most widely grown food plant in the world, the potato has become a tropical research target and numerous attempts are being made to produce a variety suited to developing countries to help solve their food problems. Much effort has therefore gone into developing an improved variety, adapted to tropical climates and resistant to both disease and parasites. However, until now genetic improvement of the potato has been difficult because of the incompatibility problems when crossing commercial high-yield varieties with wild disease-resistant ones. One of the factors of incompatibility has to do with the difference in the number of chromosomes in the variety involved the wild species having generally 24 chromosomes as against 48 for the cultivated species. An American researcher, Mr. John Helgeson, of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, has just made an important breakthrough in this field, having successfully carried out 5 fusions between cells from cultivated potatoes and those from the wild species. He was assisted in his work by staff of the Department of Agriculture's Germinating Plasma Bank, which has 3,500 accessions of which 110 are wild species. It now remains to decode the genetic make-up of the new varieties in order to breed the desired characteristics into the cultivated varieties. For further information, contact: Mr. John P. HELGESON Plant Disease Resistance Research Unit. Department of Plant Pathology University of Wisconsin Madison. Wisconsin 53705 USA.