Four spud lines targeted for development
By John O’Connell
ABERDEEN, Idaho — USDA Agricultural Research Service potato breeder Rich Novy sees potential for four experimental lines crossed in Idaho to be released as new varieties.
The list includes a mottled fresh potato, a russet with potential in the fresh-cut fry industry, a strong-yielding russet that produces a high percentage of U.S. No. 1 spuds and a russet that could be among the first varieties with low levels of acrylamide, a possible carcinogen.
All were well received by a group of about 30 growers, scientists and representatives from processors and fresh packing facilities who participated in a March 5 Potato Variety Selection Advisory Committee meeting in Aberdeen, Novy said.
Novy said the variety that’s generated the most interest from the commercial sector is A02507-2LB, which he crossed in 2002 with Polish maternal germplasm and GemStar Russet on the paternal side. It has demonstrated an 80 percent acrylamide reduction relative to industry standard varieties and maintains low sugar levels through prolonged storage.
It’s advanced through the National Fry Processing Trial, implemented by the processing industry to evaluate low-acrylamide breeding clones, and has moved on to the Specialty Crop Research Initiative Acrylamide Reduction Agronomic Trial. It’s also tested well for meeting sensory standards of quick-serve restaurants.
High yielding with a large percentage of No. 1s, A02507-2LB is also resistant to potato virus Y, late blight, early blight and verticillium wilt, and potentially corky ringspot.
“So far it looks promising to be released as a variety in the latter part of this year or early next year,” Novy said.
Another industry favorite is the high-yielding line A01010-1, nicknamed Binary Russet. It could be used as both a fresh and processed variety and is currently being evaluated by chains that sell fresh-cut fries due its desirable shape and size and ability to maintain low sugars in storage. It’s also high in vitamin C and resistant to soft rot, Novy said.
In the 2013 Western Regional Potato Variety Trial, an early season line initially selected in Tetonia, Idaho, A03158-2TE produced the highest total and U.S. No. 1 yields, both in early season and full-season trials. Novy said the line is resistant to common scab, has performed well in the Columbia Basin and Idaho and could be a short-term storage processing option or a fresh-pack option.
A potential option for the niche specialty market, A99331-2RY is highly regarded for its unique appearance, with yellow mottling on red flesh. There’s been some concern that about a quarter of its spuds don’t display the mottling, Novy said.
Jeanne Debons, executive director of the Potato Variety Management Institute, said the four varieties “do look promising from what I’ve heard from the national meetings and the regional meetings I went to in January.”
Debons noted there will be limited seed availability in Idaho and Washington this season for a Washington variety released last year, Yukon Nugget, that offers better yields and improved scab resistance compared with Yukon Gold.
PVMI is also seeking a company to accept the exclusive sublicense of POR02PG26-5, a specialty pink-eyed yellow potato developed in Oregon. She said two companies have tested it and have expressed interest in a sublicense.