Scientists from Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and Solynta, a Dutch potato breeding and biotech company that invented hybrid potato breeding, have published the most complete genome sequence for potatoes to date. A unique aspect is that both sequence and plant material are made available for research (under specific conditions). This may in the future result in a potato that is more resistant to heat or drought or has a greater resistance to diseases.

The potato is one of the most important food crops worldwide. Improvements to its traits can therefore have a major impact. Reading the genome structure of the potato is extremely tricky, however, as a regular potato consists of four genomes, which makes it difficult to determine the position of the genes. The recent research applied a diploid real potato plant with only one genome, a so-called homozygote, which makes it easier to read and compare the DNA base sequence. This plant, Solyntus, was produced as part of Solynta’s hybrid potato breeding program.

“The previously available genome sequence, which I also helped establish, consisted of approximately 125,000 small segments,” said Richard Visser, professor at the department of plant breeding at WUR. “The genome we are presenting now comprises 185 large segments. This is a significant improvement which was achieved via a combination of unique plant material and new sequencing and analysis techniques. While the previous sequence involved a wild variety of the potato, we have now used an actual potato plant. I hope—and expect—that our work will eventually lead to a more efficient and faster potato breeding process.”

Press release

More News right arrow

U.S. restaurant industry continues its slow recovery

Customer transactions at major U.S. restaurant chains declined by 21% in the week ending May 17 compared with the same period last year, a slight gain from the previous week’s 23% decline and the fifth consecutive week of improvement, reports The NPD Group.

Farms experience animal backlog, small U.S. meat processors overrun

According to The Washington Post, coronavirus outbreaks at meatpacking plants across the United States have forced temporary closures and resulted in a backlog of hundreds of thousands of animals that were ready to be slaughtered weeks ago but increasingly have nowhere to go.

U.S. produce sales soar

According to the Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA) Produce Market Watch Weekly, sales of produce continued to rise during the ninth week of coronavirus-related shopping (the week ending May 16).

Startup PeaTos launches BetterSnacks.com on heels of PepsiCo’s Snacks.com launch

To compete with PepsiCo's new direct-to-consumer websites, the startup brand PeaTos launched BetterSnacks.com this week.

China looks to boost soy, meat orders in preparation for second wave of COVID-19

According to Reuters, China has asked trading firms and food processors to boost inventories of grains and oilseeds as a possible second wave of coronavirus cases and worsening infection rates elsewhere raise concerns about global supply lines.

IFT Weekly Newsletter

Rich in industry news and highlights, the Weekly Newsletter delivers the goods in to your inbox every Wednesday.

Subscribe for free