Wageningen University and Research Centre

Secrets of successful breeding revealed in Potato Breeding Manual


The Potato Breeding Manual was presented during the Potato Europe Exhibition in Emmeloord, the Netherlands, on 11 September. The book was handed over to Kees van Arendonk, chair of the Dutch Potato Organisation (NAO) an is available in English and Dutch.

In this manual the secrets of successful potato breeding are revealed. This book aims not only at potato breeders. It is a source of inspiration for everyone working in the potato chain.

Practice and science combined

In this first practical manual theory, scientific knowledge and especially the practice of potato breeding work are combined. Topics included are the history of potato breeding in the Netherlands, background information on genetics and heritability of traits in potato. Moreover, practical chapters on making crossings with or without wild potato relatives, and the selection of new clones are included. A special feature is the information on the systematic assessment of various traits, abundantly illustrated with colour pictures. Useful is also everything the farmer breeder needs to know about the inspection and the process of registrating new varieties.

As part of the potato breeding project BioImpuls a course for farmer breeders was initiated (2008-2013). The initial aim was to stimulate an organic potato growers and breeders network. To support this course a course manual was developed for organic farmer breeders. However, the interest from the conventional sector increased at the same time, which led to the idea to develop a general breeding manual. To breed for varieties adapted to organic agriculture a separate chapter deals about the priorities of traits important for organic production systems. Such a manual does not yet exist for the international potato sector, and that is why not only a Dutch version but also an English one has been produced.

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