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Wageningen University & Research (WUR) studies wild potatoes for new pest-free potato varieties

Wageningen University & Research (WUR) studies wild potatoes for new pest-free potato varieties

Wageningen University & Research (WUR) is to study wild potato varieties for resistance to a wide range of potato-diseases and plagues. This broad approach should yield breeding material that can be used to develop disease-free potato varieties capable of contributing to a sustainable and circular potato production.

The research is commissioned by Holland Innovative Potato (HIP) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (Dutch acronym: LNV).

Potato closes cycle

The main challenge we face in the coming decades is gaining access to sufficient arable land and sweetwater. The potato could have a crucial role in solving this challenge, as it is a very efficient crop for food and industrial production in terms of land and water use.

Furthermore, the potato is rich in proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and nutrients, thus contributing to a healthy diet.

New breeding and processing techniques have become available over the past years, making the potato an important crop in meeting the demand for sustainable production of high-quality food.

Reducing chemical pest control

Potato crops are under the continuous threat of diseases and plagues. Currently, chemical pesticides are used to retain sufficient yield to meet the demand for potatoes.

Much effort has been made over the past years to develop varieties resistant to the leading disease in potatoes, which is caused by Phytophthora.

This will lead to a decline in the use of pesticides against this disease. Fewer chemical agents combined with increasing extremes in temperatures and rainfall, will, however, lead to an increase in diseases and plagues.

Potato closes cycle

The main challenge we face in the coming decades is gaining access to sufficient arable land and sweetwater.

The potato could have a crucial role in solving this challenge, as it is a very efficient crop for food and industrial production in terms of land and water use.

Furthermore, the potato is rich in proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and nutrients, thus contributing to a healthy diet. New breeding and processing techniques have become available over the past years, making the potato an important crop in meeting the demand for sustainable production of high-quality food.

Reducing chemical pest control

Potato crops are under the continuous threat of diseases and plagues. Currently, chemical pesticides are used to retain sufficient yield to meet the demand for potatoes.

Much effort has been made over the past years to develop varieties resistant to the leading disease in potatoes, which is caused by Phytophthora.

This will lead to a decline in the use of pesticides against this disease. Fewer chemical agents combined with increasing extremes in temperatures and rainfall, will, however, lead to an increase in diseases and plagues.

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