University of Manitoba: Natural Systems Agriculture: Participatory Plant Breeding
University of Manitoba Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences Department of Plant Science

Participatory Potato
Breeding Program

In the potato program initial crosses are made at the AAFC Potato Research Centre in Fredericton. Seed resulting from the initial cross is planted in a greenhouse to produce seedling tubers for planting in the field. Participants receive one or two potato populations, and each population consists of approximately 500 tubers. Selections in the first year are mostly conducted at harvest time and will be based on tuber appearance. Selections can also be conducted throughout the growing season based on characteristics such as above ground biomass, vigour, maturity and insect or disease resistance. When making selections at harvest time each hill is dug individually so that tubers from different hills do not mix. Once all hills are dug the farmer chooses approximately 10% of the original population to move forward to the next generation. One tuber out of each selected hill is retained for planting in the next year. In the second year each tuber will be cut into four pieces and planted as a unit, which allows for more vigourous selection. In the third year of on-farm selection plots will be larger to allow for yield assessment and grading according to what the participating producer would typically do.

Potato populations planted near Delta, British Columbia
Potato population dug and ready for selection in Neubergthal, Manitoba.


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This page created January 2015.