NCCC_old215: Potato Breeding and Genetics Technical Committee

(Multistate Research Coordinating Committee and Information Exchange Group)

Status: Inactive/Terminating

NCCC_old215: Potato Breeding and Genetics Technical Committee

Duration: 10/01/2012 to 09/30/2017

Administrative Advisor(s):

NIFA Reps:

Statement of Issues and Justification

The cultivated potato, Solanum tuberosum (2n=4x=48) is the most important vegetable crop and the third most important food crop in the world. The potato is also the highest volume vegetable crop in the North Central Region and accounts for approximately 28% of the US acreage. The farm gate value of the Region's production amounts to $453 million and since a large portion of the production is used in processing facilities, the value added component considerably increases the contribution of the crop to the economy of the North Central Region.

A potato crop produces, on average, more food energy and protein than cereal crops, and the lysine content of potato complements cereal based diets that are deficient in this amino acid. Potato is highly productive on a per acre basis and, because of its adaptability, can be grown commercially all 50 states. In fact, the United States produces 22 million metric tons of potatoes annually on approximately 1.1 million acres, with a farm gate value of greater than $3.2 billion. In addition, the per capita consumption of potatoes (approximately 143 lbs.) in the United States is increasing.

Public breeding is the cornerstone of potato variety development in North America. There exists only one private potato breeding effort in the US and it focuses only on the chip-processing market. NCCC-84 plays an important role in the success of varietal breeding by providing a forum for collaborative research, coordinating regional varietal testing and facilitating the exchange of germplasm and research ideas. The four varietal breeding programs in the North Central region develop varieties for the range of climatic and soil conditions within the region. North Central breeding programs have developed 2 of the 10 leading varieties grown in the US. This regional project also provides an important vehicle for project leaders, graduate students, other researchers and industry representatives to become familiar with leading edge technology, materials and techniques being developed in potato breeding and genetics. Important advances in potato genetics have emerged from this regional effort. Some notable efforts include development of breeding strategies enabling the utilization of the genetic diversity available in the Solanum species; germplasm collection, systematics, preserving and cataloguing; genetic mapping of important traits; integration of transgenic approaches in genetic improvement; and the genetic understanding of numerous resistance and quality traits of potato (i.e. late blight, Verticillium wilt, soft rot, Colorado potato beetle, cold sweetening resistance and specific gravity). The Solanaceae Coordinated Agricultural Project is managed within the North Central region and breeders are utilizing the technologies created by this project to develop high throughput genetic markers for mapping and marker-assisted selection of economically important traits in potato. NCCC-84 also provides the foundation for building strong research relationships within the region that will foster positive collaborative research efforts in the future.


  1. Provide a forum for multidisciplinary idea exchange and discussion of current research topics in potato breeding and genetics and offer training opportunities to graduate students.
  2. Actively coordinate the potato breeding and genetics research programs within quad state region (Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin) to enhance variety development efforts. This includes carrying out disease, insect and quality evaluations that take advantage of the strengths and expertise of each state's research programs.
  3. Create a setting for industry personnel and North Central breeders and agronomists to report and discuss variety trial results conducted in the North Central region.

Procedures and Activities

The committee meets annually at a site in the Midwest. The organization of the meeting is such that one day is focused on variety trials and variety releases, while a second day is devoted to potato breeding and genetics research. Any participant is allowed to give a presentation on one or both days. Graduate students are encouraged to present and discuss their research findings. This provides a good training opportunity, allowing them to prepare and give a presentation, and giving them a chance to participate in discussions throughout the meeting. During the meeting, time will be devoted to discussing the needs of breeders for disease and quality evaluations and determining the resources available to address those needs. Meeting organizers encourage attendance by grower and industry representatives. In addition, potato breeders from across the U.S. and Canada are encouraged to attend, give presentations, and participate in discussions.

Expected Outcomes and Impacts

  • Coordination of the quad state (Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin) breeding and genetics research program to enhance variety development efforts.
  • Through participation of a diversity of potato researchers (breeders, geneticists, molecular biologists, plant pathologists, and agronomists) from the North Central, Western, and Northeast regions and Canada, provide a forum for multidisciplinary idea exchange and discussion of current research topics and offer training opportunities for graduate students.
  • Provide a broad assessment of advanced breeding germplasm by developing a series of disease, insect, and quality evaluations that utilize the expertise of each state's research programs.
  • Through a central meeting location and an appropriate meeting format, create an environment to educate industry personnel about variety trial results conducted in the North Central region.

Projected Participation

View Appendix E: Participation

Educational Plan

The NCCC84 meeting format has traditionally been a reporting and discussion of research on a state-by-state basis. To make the results presented at the meeting attractive to industry clientele, the meeting is divided into one day of variety reports (from all states) and another day of breeding and genetic research (from all states). In this manner the results presented will have a more direct impact upon the potato industry. Graduate students and post-docs are encouraged to participate in discussions and present their research accomplishments.


The recommended Standard Governance for multistate research activities include the election of a Chair, a Chair-elect, and a Secretary. All officers are to be elected for at least two-year terms to provide continuity. Administrative guidance will be provided by an assigned Administrative Advisor and a CSREES Representative.

Literature Cited


Land Grant Participating States/Institutions


Non Land Grant Participating States/Institutions

Agriculture and Agrifood Canada, USDA-ARS/Wisconsin
Log Out ?

Are you sure you want to log out?

Press No if you want to continue work. Press Yes to logout current user.

Report a Bug
Report a Bug

Describe your bug clearly, including the steps you used to create it.