Dutch potato breeding company Solynta has developed potato varieties that are resistant to potato late blight (Phytophthora). The varieties have been introduced to the public during a field day held by the company at its premises in Wageningen, the Netherlands this week.
The company explained the process in a press release: potatoes are generally clone-bred and grown vegetatively. A seed-potato is put in the ground, which produces some ten new potatoes. One of the disadvantages of this system is that the parent plant transmits diseases to the offspring. Also, making the crop resistant is a long process. Solynta has therefore selected a whole new approach: the company developed hybrid breeding with elite parent-lines, which allow propagation with true seeds. As a result, the breeders were able to cross-breed multiple resistance genes into the potato plant within a two-year period. The perfectly healthy potato plants in the test field have two resistance …
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