Crops News

Land-grants partner with U.S. Potato Genebank for tater R&D


Fifteen land-grant universities have teamed up with the United States Potato Genebank to support spud research. The collaboration will also examine new potato varieties and conserve specimens to overcome future growing challenges such as droughts, natural disasters, or emerging pests, and diseases.

The most widely grown and consumed vegetable in the U.S., the potato brought in $3.9 billion in 2015, with over $1.3 billion in exports. With this new research, those numbers could rise.

“Potatoes with a strong resistance to disease can prevent crop losses and boost profits. Ultimately, this will increase our production and exports of the vegetable, as well as French fries, chips, and frozen potato products,” said Dr. John Bamberg, project leader for the U.S. Potato Genebank.

Since 1947, researchers, breeders, and farmers have relied on the U.S. Potato Genebank to collect and preserve potato specimens. In 2015, over 11,000 genetic samples from the Genebank were sent to 34 different U.S. states and ten countries.

The land-grant universities cooperating with the U.S. Potato Genebank include:

Colorado State University
Michigan State University
University of Minnesota
North Carolina State University
Oregon State University
University of Wisconsin
North Dakota State University
University of Idaho
University of Arizona
University of Nevada
University of California
University of Florida
Virginia Tech
Washington State University
Texas A&M University

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