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United States Government invests USD 2.6 Million in Potato Variety Research
United States Government invests USD 2.6 Million in Potato Variety Research

The USDA's National Institute of Food & Agriculture (NIFA) recently awarded four Potato Research grants as part of their Special Research Grants program.

An amount totaling USD 2,665,520 was awarded to four potato breeding programs for the period of September 1, 2021 through Aug. 31, 2023

The grants are to focus on the development and testing of superior commercial potato varieties (Solanum tuberosum L.) using classic breeding and advanced molecular and biotechnological approaches.

Grants go to potato breeding programs at the following Universities:

  • Washington State University (Tri-State breeding program), USD 943,332.
  • Michigan State University, USD 796,725
  • University of Maine, USD 510,104
  • Texas A&M University, USD 415,359

Extensive details on these four potato breeding programs can be found at the NIFA website.

This research will help improve potato quality and increase resistance to pests and diseases, leading to commercial variety development and transfer of superior materials to growers. The programs awarded the NIFA grants are at the University of Maine, Michigan State University, Texas A&M University and Washington State University.

USDA-NIFA Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics Programs

NIFA supports the latest plant breeding, genetics, and genomics research to ensure that U.S. agriculture is prepared to meet the grand challenges facing the world. Innovation in agricultural production is key to producing more food with less impact on the environment.

Agriculture of the future will be enabled by genome design, innovative breeding methods, data analysis, and knowledge of molecular and biological processes.

Breeding crops for the future will require new traits, breeding platforms built for quick transfer of traits to elite cultivars, coordination of breeding efforts in public and private domains, and training for current and future plant breeders and researchers.