Skip to navigation Skip to content

Potato genetics

Photograph of potatoes just dug from a field
Genetics and breeding of potatoes uses the latest methods of gene discovery to find the genes required for the genetic improvement of the potato.

Potato Genetics research at the Hutton uses uses the latest tools and methods to characterise the genes underlying important traits that are relevant to the potato industry. Genetic analysis makes use of the wide range of germplasm held at the James Hutton Institute: accessions of the wild and cultivated potatoes of Latin America in the Commonwealth Potato Collection (CPC), long-day-adapted Andigena potatoes (Neotuberosum) derived from the CPC, and long-day-adapted Phureja potatoes also derived from the CPC. The main target traits are resistance to the many pests and pathogens that affect potato, as well as traits that impact on quality, nutritional value and storage of the potato crop. 

Potato breeding at the James Hutton Institute is commercially funded and success requires producing new cultivars with the qualities demanded by processors and supermarkets.

There is pressure from government for environmental benefits from new cultivars, particularly reduced use of fungicides and pesticides. High levels of inbuilt and durable resistance are therefore required and again understanding the molecular pathology and genetics of resistance is important. Consumers want health benefits from their food and in this respect the carotenoids present in deep yellow fleshed Phureja potatoes have a role to play.

More efficient breeding methods are sought, based on the results of genetic analysis, an area where we have achieved success despite the complexities of tetrasomic inheritance in the European potato. We are currently enjoying commercial success with new cultivars bred from past assessments and utilisation of the CPC.


Areas of Interest

Printed from /research/departments/cell-and-molecular-sciences/potato-genetics on 31/05/23 01:18:29 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.