Cooperative agencies and principal leaders

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Calendar Year 2011 with updates through March 2012


Acquisition, Classification, Preservation, Evaluation and Distribution of tuber-bearing Solanum Species.


State Agricultural Experimental Stations


Technical Representatives

Southern Region Chairman (2012)

J. C. Miller, Jr.

Western Region Vice-Chair (2012)

D. Holm

North Central Region Secretary (2012)

D. Douches

Northeastern Region

W. De Jong

Administrative Advisors

Southern Region

C. Nessler

Western Region

L. Curtis

North Central Region Lead AA

R. Lindroth

Northeastern Region

E. Ashworth

United States Department of Agriculture


Technical Representative

C. Brown

National Program Staff

P. Bretting

G. Wisler

Midwest Area

L. Chandler & P. Simon


A. M. Thro


J. Abad

NRSP-6 Project Leader

J. Bamberg

Agriculture & Agrifood Canada

B. Bizimungu


A. Acquisitions and associated work

A genebank team re-collected spots known to be highly diverse in AZ, and found some new, totally unreported robust sites for jamesii in NM. The final days were spent collecting the first live fendleri from the TNC land in the Davis Mts of west TX, and also rediscovering jamesii there. This made 32 new accessions for the genebank. We have been offered to lead an expedition accompanied by a film crew in fall 2012.

S. jamesii near Silver City, NM

A. del Rio toward

Mt. Livermore, TNC preserve, Davis Mts.,

W Texas

Fourteen new clonal stocks were imported-- 10 from Spain, two from Columbia, one from Peru, and one from Canada. Seventeen new populations of S. microdontum were added. Two new USA jamesii collections were collected and donated by D. Kinder, professor of medical chemistry at Ohio Northern University (anticancer interest). Three named papa criolla orange fleshed selections were donated by C. Quiros (CA).

The NRSP-6 web page ( was updated to include all new stocks and screening information. Clients who have ordered from NRSP-6 within the past four years were contacted three times in 2011, informing them of new stocks of true seed, tubers, in vitro plantlets, or herbarium samples.

B. Preservation and Evaluation

We increased 217 seed populations, performed 500 PSTVd tests, 1433 germination tests, 31 ploidy determinations, and 30 tetrazolium seed viability tests. Renovation of the E greenhouse range last fall, along with improved potting techniques and fertilization regime is supporting good seed increases.

Regular need to monitor germination on over 5,000 populations

New greenhouse skin, wiring and controls in fall 2011provides...

... better environment for abundant fruitset

With help of cooperators, we made progress evaluating germplasm in several ways.

We selected orange-fleshed stocks from hybrids of S. phureja based on taste, appearance and cooking quality evaluated by a native Colombian (FL) familiar with the ideal for traditional papa criolla.

“Golden” project for orange flesh using


S. phureja

With A. Goyer (OR), we identified cultivated and wild species with multiple times the folate levels of standard cultivars. We have begun the process of fine screening, and creating hybrids for breeding and MAS. The often inadequate intake of folate impacts a broad range of serious physical and mental diseases.


S. boliviense pops exhibit tremendous levels of tuber folate

The cooperative project with Kemin (IA) continued to make surprising gains, this year again nearly doubling the previously highest known concentration of an anti-appetite enzyme in potato tubers.

We continued evaluation of microdontum, a species with a remarkable array of useful traits, this year doing work to show that resistance to illuminated tuber greening is highly heritable.


heritability of tuber

greening in

S. microdontum


In cooperation with C. Brown (WA) we selected yellow-fleshed clones from populations known to have low sugars, which he and colleagues selected for those able to make a processed product not dependent on high-acrylamide frying conditions for acceptable color.

Natural color can result in golden chips without much acrylamide

Work continued with cooperators at the International Potato Center (CIP) at Lima Peru, and J. Palta (WI) to better understand and exploit the great yield and quality increases resulting when some native cultivars are supplied with extra fertilizer calcium.

Cooperative research plots in Peru

We produced tubers on plants selected for high nutrients and antioxidants, to which Titanium or Water sprays had been applied pursuant to testing the effect of Ti “hormesis”.

Short day winter California field plots (Oct – Jan) were tried, resulting in some success in production of field tubers of wild species that do not form at all in the field at Sturgeon Bay.


ome individuals have severe, even life-threatening allergic reaction to uncooked potato protein. We began investigating the potential for testing a spectrum of germplasm for greater or lesser allergenicity.

The tetraploid, purple-flowered wild potato native to the USA, previously S. fendleri, has been lumped with several Mexican species of series Longipedicellata to a single S. stoloniferum. When over 400 populations of coded randomized potted plants were physically clustered by only a quick a priori impression, groups with high affinity to previously-named fendleri, stoloniferum and polytrichon emerged. We demonstrated that volunteers of widely varying familiarity with potato have no difficulty in making an instant, accurate visual classification, and every population originating from the USA is always identified as the fendleri form. Thus, visually perceived differences in these forms that were previously represented as species are not imaginary. The fendleri form clearly differs in flowering duration, tuber initiation and yield. We conclude that the tetraploid Longipedicellata of the USA are exclusively of the fendleri form, and that the loss of this name reduces practical information by obscuring its distinction from the stoloniferum and polytrichon forms of Mexico.

USA wild tetraploid populations are all the fendleri form, always distinct from their stoloniferum and polytrichon Mexican relatives

We expanded work on the Microdontum Multifaceted Project (MMP) by identifying 1741 informative AFLP loci for help in selecting a core collection. AFLP loci were treated as though they were traits, with the banded condition considered to be the desired state. At least one band unique to a population was present in 45 populations, and these 45 populations together captured 98% of all bands. Adding another 14 populations for a total of 59 captured all bands. This core set was assessed for whether it encompassed those populations known to have useful traits, including nutritional and quality components; and disease, stress and pest resistances. As with AFLP bands, all 25 of the most desirable phenotypic traits were also found in populations in the core set of 59 populations. These AFLP markers may also reveal the influence of eco-geo parameters, and introgression from other species.

S. microdontum is an ideal candidate species for various types of genebank study

C. Classification

This year David Spooner did research on: 1) a taxonomic monograph of cultivated potato, 2) a test of taxonomic predictivity of potato taxonomy using soft rot as a test case, 3) a test of taxonomic predictivity of potato taxonomy using virus Y as a test case, 4) A DNA-based analysis of taxonomic relationships in the wild potato group Solanum series  Conicibaccata, 5) a summary of the use of field work for taxonomy, 6) a report of the development of a new technique (SSCP analysis) for separating allelic variants cheaper and more accurately than by cloning, 7) a geographic information systems analysis of the discovery of Solanum morelliforme in South America, 8) a summary of taxonomy in  Solanum series Lycopersicon, the sister group of potato.

D. Distribution

The volume and types of stocks sent to various consignee categories are summarized in the table below. NRSP-6 distributed 197 domestic orders to clients in 34 states of the USA and 20 foreign orders to 12 other countries. About ½ of domestic orders are for breeding and genetics, about ¼ for home gardeners, and the remaining ¼ for pathology, physiology, entomology, taxonomy, educational, etc.

Units of Germplasm Sent1









































1 Types of stocks sent/(number of seeds, tubers or plantlets per standard shipping unit): Seed= True Seeds/(50), TU = Tuber families/(12), TC = Tuber Clones/(3), IV = in vitro stocks/(3), DNA = dried leaf samples/(1), Plants = rooted cuttings /(1), Herb= Herbarium specimens/(1).

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