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Research on Potato

Photograph of potato flowers
Potato is the third largest food crop grown in the world and members of the family Solanaceae are an enormously important source of nutrition.

A multidisciplinary research group

The role of the Centre for Research on Potato and other Solanaceous plants is to promote multidisciplinary research on potato (Solanum tuberosum). The tools and technologies we are developing for potato will be more widely applied to other Solanaceous crops such as tomato and pepper. Potato is the third largest food crop grown in the world and members of the family Solanaceae are an enormously important source of nutrition.

The ready availability of genome sequences and new technologies to investigate genome biology has fundamentally changed the way that we approach problems and the questions that can be asked. This new biology requires interdisciplinary teams to study complex biological questions and provide solutions to today's problems. For example: How can we  improve the plant’s response to stresses posed by a changing environment (drought and heat), pests and pathogens as well as improve resource use efficiency to achieve increased yields with less resources sufficient to feed a growing world population? 

State-of-the-art facilities

In the Centre for Research on Potato, we have assembled an interdisciplinary team of scientists who aim to exploit genetic and genomic information from potato, tomato and pepper and their economically important pests and pathogens to tackle such questions. Our research is backed by state-of-the-art facilities. Our priorities are to identify and characterise genes underpinning growth and development, yield, disease resistance and abiotic stress tolerance.

Our approach is to decode these genomes to discover new gene candidates conferring valuable traits. To conduct functional analysis and integrated systems approaches to characterise and deploy these genes and investigate their interactions and efficacy. The knowledge derived from such studies will lead to accelerated breeding programmes for sustainable crop production and integrated pest management.

Research projects

View the images below for more information on research projects.

Genomics, Genome sequences.
The Commonwealth Potato Collection - utilising wild species.
Characterisaion of potato miRNAs
Understanding Plant Resistance
Understanding the pathogens
Understanding epidemics
Stress tolerance
Better nutrient and water use.
Markers to assist resistance breeding
Diagnostic tools
Technology transfer for development
Knowledge transfer





Contact us

General enquiries: Glenn Bryan

Plant pathogen interactions, host resistance

Epidemiology and Diagnostics

Vivian Blok
David Cooke
Alison Lees
Jennie Brierley



Commonwealth Potato Collection

Gaynor McKenzie

Plant Breeding

Drummond Todd
James Hutton Ltd.




Enabling Technologies

Pete Hedley - genomics
Jennifer Stephens - plant transformation
Alison Roberts - imaging
Sean Chapman - imaging, electron microscopy
Kath Wright - imaging, CLSM


Areas of Interest

Printed from /research/research-potato on 04/12/22 09:24:18 PM

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.