PAA Poster Session

Meet the Researchers at the PAA Poster Session
Wednesday, January 4
4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Aurora Hall, Aisle 200

Sustainable Potato Production with Reduced Irrigation Water Use

Samuel YC Essah, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist, Colorado State University

Sufficient irrigation water for potato production has become an issue in most irrigated potato production regions. In many potato growing areas either water quality or water volume is limited, causing stress and yield decline. The potato crop is known to be sensitive to water stress. A study was conducted at Colorado State University’s San Luis Valley Research Center to evaluate the effect of an enzymatically hydrolyzed animal protein-based biostimulant (Pepton Plus) on potato tuber yield and net returns, with reduced irrigation water use. Foliar application of Pepton Plus increased marketable and large marketable size tuber yield by 11% and 21%, respectively.

Becca Rose: A New Potato Variety with Attractive, Red-Skinned Tubers of Uniform Size and Shape, and Resistance to Common Scab and Verticillium Wilt  

Rich Novy, Research Geneticist, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Aberdeen, Idaho

Becca Rose is a new potato variety released in 2022 by the Northwest (Tri-State) Potato Variety Development Program.  It is notable for its production of uniformly round tubers having attractive red skin with a high percentage and yield of premium sized (2-6 ounce) tubers in western U.S. growing environments. It also has been identified as having high merit in Michigan, where tuber size tends to be larger.  Becca Rose retains its red skin color following extended storage for a longer duration than most varieties and is resistant to common scab and Verticillium wilt, which are problematic diseases in potato production.

Efficacy of Postharvest Treatments on Suberization Process of Potato Cultivars

Dr. Munevver Dogramaci, Research Plant Physiologist, United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center, Sugarbeet and Potato Research Unit, Fargo, ND

Wound healing is one of the most serious postharvest challenges facing the potato industry. Formation of suberin layer in wounded tissues is the most important step in the wound healing process. Thus, to mitigate wounding associated economic losses, benign and effective strategies are needed to enhance tuber suberization, to control subsequent infections, and to maintain higher tuber quality. In this research, natural compounds were utilized to enhance suberization in wounded tubers of fifteen potato cultivars, and microscopy and biochemical assays were performed. The results indicate improvement in suberization ratings of select cultivars in response to the postharvest treatments.

USAID Feed the Future Global Biotech Potato Partnership – Update Year 1   

David S. Douches, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Potato is an essential crop that can play an integral role in achieving global food security. Disease, particularly Late Blight, can be a major issue for farmers often resulting in total crop loss. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded a five-year, collaborative partnership led by Michigan State University (MSU). The Feed the Future Global Biotech Potato Partnership will bring late blight disease resistant (LBR) potatoes in farmer-preferred varieties to the Southeast (SE) Asian countries of Bangladesh and Indonesia, and the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) countries of Kenya and Nigeria. An overview of Year 1 activities is highlighted.  

SCRI Project: Tools for Genomics-Assisted Breeding in Polyploids

Jeffrey Endelman, Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison

In 2020, the potato community collaborated with breeders of other specialty crops and computational scientists to win a $4.3 million award from the USDA Specialty Crop Research Initiative titled “Tools for Genomics-Assisted Breeding in Polyploids.” The project is funding the development of new software to leverage genomics for gene discovery and the prediction of complex traits in potato and other polyploid crops. Six state potato breeding programs are funded to implement genomic selection through the project, and several others are participating as collaborators. The practical impact of these activities will be more rapid progress toward the release of improved varieties.

Utilizing traditional and remote sensing techniques to assess Colorado potato beetle host preference in the Columbia Basin

Max Feldman, USDA-ARS Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research Unit, Prosser, WA 

A field study was conducted at the Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Hermiston, Oregon to assess our ability to evaluate L. decemlineata preference of ten potato clones with and without Imidacloprid treatment, using human index scoring and remote sensing techniques. Insect activity was estimated by tabulating the number of egg masses, larvae, adult insects, and index estimation of defoliation, and indirectly using a multispectral sensor fixed to a unmanned aircraft system (UAS). Colorado potato beetle exhibits consistent preferences towards different potato cultivars and remote sensing techniques can be used to estimate plant defoliation throughout the field season.

The Alliance for Potato Research and Education: Funding Science to Challenge Misperceptions and Promote the Benefits of Eating Potatoes 

Howard Goldstein, MS, RD, FoodMinds, Alliance for Potato Research and Education Program Manager

The Alliance for Potato Research and Education funds $750K-$1M dollars in nutrition research, annually. Research findings across the 28 published studies to date show potatoes—whether baked, boiled or processed—are a high-quality carbohydrate-containing food; may improve risk factors for cardiometabolic diseases, like type 2 diabetes; help close gaps in key nutrients like potassium and fiber; and are as effective as commercial sports supplements to optimize athletic performance. These findings support the entire potato industry and are critically important to combat misperceptions and positively position potatoes with health professionals, nutrition researchers, the media and consumers.

Light: A major foe for potato, developing tuber-greening resistant potatoes

Noelle L Anglin, USDA ARS Small Grains and Potato Germplasm Research, Aberdeen, Idaho

Green potatoes are not desirable by consumers nor the potato industry and can lead to economic losses. However, tubers frequently will turn green after exposure to light. Green tubers are not necessarily toxic, yet, illuminated tubers can also form glycoalkaloids which leads to a bitter flavor and toxicity if in higher concentrations. Solanum microdontum (mcd) has been shown to resist tuber greening. Therefore, a population was created between tuber-greening resistant mcd and cultivated potato to study the genetics of resistance to greening and the accumulation of tuber glycoalkaloids to aid in their introgression into cultivated potato. 

Soil, water and topography maps as a management tool to improve profitability and sustainability within the potato industry

Evan MacDonald, PhD Student, University of Prince Edward Island

Site specific management, known as Precision Agriculture (PA), has the potential to ensure optimal distribution of inputs across the field by identifying variability and managing it. This project focuses on using soil, water, and topography information to influence variable rate (VR) seeding of the potato crop. Today’s planting technology can automatically adjust seed and fertilizer rates according to management zones within the field. VR seeding has the potential to increase profitability for the farmer by managing risk and lowering cost of production in poorer performing areas of a field, while maximizing profit in areas of the field with greater soil potential.

Effect of Reduced Irrigation on Powdery Scab and Potato Mop Top Virus Symptom Development

Jeff Miller, Miller Research

Powdery scab has become one of the more difficult potato diseases to manage in the region. The powdery scab organism (Spongospora subterranea) vectors the potato mop-top virus (PMTV) which causes internal defects in potato tubers, causing rejection for market use. Irrigation management is often recommended for managing powdery scab. In 2021, irrigation reduction of 80% (early season and season long) was evaluated in a field setting for the effect on powdery scab and PMTV symptoms. In 2022, a 90% reduction (early season, late season, and season long) was evaluated. In both years, irrigation reduction was not effective in reducing powdery scab symptoms. PMTV was not reduced in 2021. Data from 2022 will be available at the time of the Expo.

Systems approach to nematode control in US potatoes

Louise-Marie Dandurand, Associate Professor, University of Idaho

Our trans-disciplinary project to control nematodes that threaten potatoes brings together researchers, extension educators, and industry. We will address the threat posed by the regulated potato cyst and root knot nematodes which can lead to international sanctions or rejection of entire potato shipments. Our four-pronged approach to assist farmers in dealing with nematode infestations is to: 1) improve diagnostics and implement predictive models; 2) mine plant defenses for deployment of novel resistance; 3) plan for the future through smart nematicide chemistries; and 4) pass our information on to benefit all sectors that are impacted by these devastating pests.

Potato 2.0 – Update on Breeding, Agronomics, and Industry Impacts

Paul Bethke, USDA-ARS Vegetable Crops Research Unit, Madison, WI

Potato breeders are developing diploid germplasm for variety development. Diploid potatoes will allow breeders to take full advantage of highly efficient breeding approaches to more rapidly respond to changing environments and industry needs. Our goal is to develop F1 hybrid potato varieties propagated in the first generation as true seed. We have completed three years of a SCRI project focused on this goal. We will describe advances in diploid potato breeding, share observations on diploid potato agronomics, and illustrate how true potato seed might be incorporated into seed potato production.

Potato Mop-Top Virus Facts

Jonathan Whitworth, Research Plant Pathologist, USDA-ARS, Aberdeen, Idaho

Potato mop-top virus (PMTV) causes tuber necrosis. It moves to healthy plants via powdery scab and once established in a field, it is long lived and difficult to eradicate. Control through current seed certification techniques is difficult. Foliar symptoms are rare and tuber symptoms can be confused with other internal defects such as Corky ringspot or PVY ringspots. Seed potatoes do receive a shipping point inspection that includes cutting sample tubers to record internal defects. Tubers can be infected and show no symptoms making it difficult to control the virus in seed potatoes. Resistant potato varieties are being developed.

Identification of Chromosome Regions Associated with Disease Resistance for the Development of Marker-Assisted Selection

Jaebum Park, USDA ARS Small Grains and Potato Germplasm Research, USDA-ARS, Aberdeen, Idaho

Late blight, early blight, and verticillium wilt are problematic for potato growers, reducing potato yields and tuber qualities. The USDA-ARS at Aberdeen, ID developed a tetraploid mapping population segregating for resistance and susceptibility to these three diseases based on evaluations conducted in the field.  Responses of the individuals within the mapping population to disease infection, along with the individuals’ genetics were analyzed using computer-based software, to identify chromosome regions associated with resistances which could then prove useful in the further development of marker-assisted selection in potato breeding programs.