Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists develop new potato lines to wage war on wireworms

Date:
September 19, 2011
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
When wireworms feast on potatoes, the results aren't pretty: The spuds' surfaces are left punctured, pitted and unappealing. For the past few years, scientists have sought a solution in the form of spuds with genetic resistance to the worms, with special attention focused on two wild potatoes from Chile and Bolivia: Solanum berthaultii and S. etuberosum.

ARS scientists have developed potato lines with the genetic ability to resist wireworms, which feed on the tubers.
Credit: Juan Manuel Alvarez (Dupont Crop Protection)

When wireworms feast on potatoes, the results aren't pretty: The spuds' surfaces are left punctured, pitted and unappealing. For the past few years, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists and their colleagues have sought a solution in the form of spuds with genetic resistance to the worms, with special attention focused on two wild potatoes from Chile and Bolivia: Solanum berthaultii and S. etuberosum.

Previous studies showed that the wild potatoes resisted Colorado potato beetles and green peach aphids, two very different pests. Given this broadspread resistance, the researchers decided to see how the spuds fared against wireworms, which are the click beetle's larval stage.

To do this, the researchers crossed germplasm derived from the wild potatoes with a cultivated variety, and then selected 15 top-performing plants from three generations of progeny. Their next step was to plant the progeny lines, called "breeding clones," in wireworm-infested field plots and compare the damage they sustained with that seen in flanking rows of Russet Burbank potatoes -- some treated with insecticide and some that hadn't been treated.

The results showed that the resistant clones fared just as well, and in some cases better than, the insecticide-treated Russet Burbank potatoes. The research has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Economic Entomology.

Growers now use organophosphate- and carbamate-based insecticides against wireworms, notes Rich Novy, a plant geneticist with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Small Grains and Potato Germplasm Research Unit in Aberdeen, Idaho. However, the continued registration of some of these insecticides is uncertain. Also, the chemicals don't always eliminate the slender, brownish-orange pests, which can survive beneath the soil for as long as five years before emerging as adults.

The researchers suspect natural compounds called glycoalkaloids may be protecting the breeding clones. Fortunately, the total glycoalkaloid concentrations in many of the resistant clones are well below levels deemed harmful to consumers.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. The original article was written by Jan Suszkiw. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Scientists develop new potato lines to wage war on wireworms." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110919104751.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2011, September 19). Scientists develop new potato lines to wage war on wireworms. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110919104751.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Scientists develop new potato lines to wage war on wireworms." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110919104751.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Great British Farmland Boom

The Great British Farmland Boom

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 17, 2014) Britain's troubled Co-operative Group is preparing to cash in on nearly 18,000 acres of farmland in one of the biggest UK land sales in decades. As Ivor Bennett reports, the market timing couldn't be better, with farmland prices soaring over 270 percent in the last 10 years. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction

Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) With plenty of honking, flapping, and fluttering, more than three dozen Caribbean flamingos at Zoo Miami were rounded up today as the iconic exhibit was closed for renovations. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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