Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Unraveling potato genome paves way for new varieties

Date:
July 10, 2011
Source:
Wageningen University and Research Centre
Summary:
The potato, the world's third most popular food, has been genetically unraveled. Researchers from the international Potato Genome Sequencing Consortium in 14 countries have mapped the potato's hundreds of millions of building blocks.

The potato, number three on the list of the world's most popular food, has been genetically unraveled. Researchers from the Plant Breeding department at Wageningen UR (University & Research centre) and other colleagues involved in the international Potato Genome Sequencing Consortium (PGSC) in 14 countries have mapped the potato's hundreds of millions of building blocks. Their findings are reported in Nature.

Related Articles


In the Netherlands, the project was financially supported by the Ministry of EL&I, Technology Foundation STW and resources from the natural gas futures (FES).

The 844 million base pairs in the DNA which form the potato's genome possess a surprisingly large number of genes, 39,000. These carry the information for proteins which stimulate the growth and development of the plant. The location of nearly all the genes on one of the twelve chromosomes of the potato is now known.

The data shows that because each potato gene has four possible different versions, the total genetic diversity is very high. However due to the import from South America of a limited set of potato genotypes in the 16th century, there is a relatively narrow genetic base in modern varieties. The unravelling of the genome sequence now opens the way for a systematic and rapid analysis of the huge genetic potential in the wild gene pool.

Now that the sequence of the building blocks of the potato genome is known, this paves the way for researchers and breeders to raise the yield of the crop, improve its quality and nutritional value as well as make the plant more resistant to disease. Crossing disease-resistant characteristics usually takes up to fifteen years and this process can now be considerably reduced.

The potato is the most important food crop that is not a grain (wheat, rice). According to the World Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), global production is around 330 million tons a year. Potatoes are an important source of starch, protein, antioxidants and vitamins, for both man and animal, while starch can be used for green materials, including paper and textiles.

The potato acreage has changed very little in recent decades. While the cultivation area in Eastern Europe shrank, it tripled in developing countries. For these countries, the potato has become an attractive crop, because potato plants use water and nutrients efficiently and potato growers increasingly have access to good seeds.

These seeds often come from Dutch growers. There are over 4000 cultivated potato varieties, often known by strange names like Desiree, Agria, Maris Piper and Bintje.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wageningen University and Research Centre. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. The Potato Genome Sequencing Consortium. Genome sequence and analysis of the tuber crop potato. Nature, 2011; DOI: 10.1038/nature10158

Cite This Page:

Wageningen University and Research Centre. "Unraveling potato genome paves way for new varieties." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110710204244.htm>.
Wageningen University and Research Centre. (2011, July 10). Unraveling potato genome paves way for new varieties. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110710204244.htm
Wageningen University and Research Centre. "Unraveling potato genome paves way for new varieties." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110710204244.htm (accessed January 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dogs Bring on So Many Different Emotions in Their Human Best Friends

Dogs Bring on So Many Different Emotions in Their Human Best Friends

RightThisMinute (Jan. 28, 2015) From new-puppy happy tears to helpful-grocery-carrying-dog laughter, our four-legged best friends can make us feel the entire spectrum of emotions. Video provided by RightThisMinute
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Say Earliest Snakes Lived Alongside The Dinosaurs

Scientists Say Earliest Snakes Lived Alongside The Dinosaurs

Newsy (Jan. 28, 2015) Wrongly categorized as lizard fossils, snake fossils now show the reptile could have developed earlier than we thought — 70 million years earlier. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Hold Emergency Meeting to Save Endangered Rhinos

Scientists Hold Emergency Meeting to Save Endangered Rhinos

AFP (Jan. 28, 2015) Conservationists and scientists hold talks in Kenya to come up with a last ditch plan to save the northern white rhinoceros from extinction. Duration: 01:06 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Malnutrition on the Rise as Violence Flares in C. Africa

Malnutrition on the Rise as Violence Flares in C. Africa

AFP (Jan. 28, 2015) Violence can flare up at any moment in Bambari with only a bridge separating Muslims and Christians. Malnutrition is on the rise and lack of water means simple cooking fires threaten to destroy makeshift camps where people are living. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

More Coverage


Potato Genome Sequence Published

July 11, 2011 A high quality draft sequence of the potato genome has now been published by the Potato Genome Sequencing Consortium, an international team of ... read more

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins